he two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward Tel Aviv on Thursday night, were likely launched mistakenly by Hamas, the IDF said on Friday. The understanding was based on the IDF's initial assessment of Thursday night's events and included the possibility that the rockets accidentally went off during routine maintenance work by Hamas.
Despite that assessment, several hours after the rocket fire, Israeli aircraft struck over 100 targets across the Gaza Strip in retaliation to what were the first rockets fired at central Israel since the Gaza War in the summer of 2014.
“There is a growing assumption that the Hamas rocket fire towards the Gush Dan region was by mistake,” the military said Friday morning, adding that while it appears that low-level Hamas militants were behind the rocket fire ,the IDF sees the group as responsible for everything happening in the coastal enclave.
It wasn’t immediately clear which group in Gaza was responsible for the rocket fire with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other group all denying as being behind it. Hamas said it was attempting to prevent any further escalation and promised to take action against the perpetrators as the rocket fire “went against the national consensus.”
Throughout the night the military struck targets in the Hamas-run Strip, including the headquarters responsible for the planning and execution of terror attacks in the West Bank, an underground complex that served as Hamas' main rocket-manufacturing site, and a military training site that also functioned as the group’s drone program.
Several underground infrastructures and military compounds were also struck, including naval sites belonging to the group were also struck.
Local Palestinian media in Gaza said that Israeli naval vessels also took part in the strikes off the coast of Rafah.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said there were no immediate reports of casualties but there were several injuries including a woman who had to have her hand amputated.
During the airstrikes three Red Alert incoming rocket siren were activated in Israeli communities bordering the southern Gaza Strip.According to the military nine projectiles were launched from the Strip, with six being intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, another fell inside Gaza. While shrapnel were discovered outside a school in the city of Sderot, there were no reports of injuries or damage.
The Israeli airstrikes came in response to two rockets were fired towards Tel Aviv from Gaza. Sirens were activated throughout the Gush Dan regional council in central Israel around 9PM with two loud explosions heard.
While initial reports indicated that the Iron Dome intercepted one of the rockets, the army later said that no interception took place as both rockets fell in open territory.
“Two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory. The alert and warning systems operated as required,” the army said. “No interceptions were made by aerial defense systems. No damage or injuries were reported. There are no special instructions for the civilian home front.”
Five people were treated for shock. Read more at JPost