Islamic Jihad in Gaza fires two rockets at Tel Aviv area

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Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets toward Tel Aviv late Thursday, the Israeli military said, marking a significant escalation that raised the likelihood of a harsh Israeli reprisal.

This reporter, based on the northern Tel Aviv coastline, heard one large blast following the rocket siren.

Israel's Channel 10 news said Thursday, citing anonymous military officials, that one of the rockets landed in an uninhabited area, and that there were no reports of injuries.

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Tel Aviv has not been attacked by rocket or missile fire since a 2014 war with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rushed to the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and was conferring with senior army officials about a response.

Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, two smaller Gaza armed factions, also denied responsibility.

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In addition to Hamas, Gaza is home to other militant groups.

About 40 minutes after the alarm went up, traffic was flowing normally on Tel Aviv's main Ayalon highway.

Earlier, Islamic Jihad criticized Hamas for using force to disperse demonstrations protesting the bad economic conditions in the Gaza Strip.

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According to IDF reports, two rockets were launched on Thursday evening from Gaza, a coastal enclave to Israel's south ruled by the Hamas terror group. The situation on the Gaza border has reportedly escalated due to continued shelling and launches of arson balloons from Gaza into the Israeli territory, and the shooting and killing of protesters, medics, journalists and children near the border by IDF soldiers.

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