Israel strikes in Gaza after rockets target Tel Aviv

Israeli warplanes pound Gaza four Palestinians injured

Israeli warplanes pound Gaza four Palestinians injured

Weekly protests along the Gaza-Israel border were called off on Friday after a military escalation between the Jewish state and Palestinian militants, organizers have said. Reports from inside the territory said sites around Khan Younis in the south of the Strip were among the first to be hit.

This is a breaking news story and is constantly being updated.

The blasts were so powerful that smoke could be seen in Gaza City, 25 kilometers away from some of the strikes.

United Nations bodies, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other groups repeatedly slammed the violence along the Gaza border, demanding Israel to stop committing alleged war crimes in the area.

The sudden outburst of fighting comes at a sensitive time for both sides.

Residents reported hearing explosions, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.

The Israeli military says it has begun attacking sites in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket attack on Tel Aviv.

The exchange was the most serious since a botched Israeli commando incursion into Gaza last November.

According to the IDF statement, Hamas' headquarters located in central Gaza Strip which was responsible for guiding "terror activities" in the West Bank was struck.

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Meanwhile, when asked about the court action to be taken against the suspects, Dr Mahathir said there must be strong evidence before the prosecution can begin their case.

One rocket probably fell into the sea, Tel Aviv's mayor, Ron Huldai, told Israeli television.

Israeli media are citing an Israeli defence official as saying that the rockets may have been launched "by mistake" while maintenance work was being carried out.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2007, when the Islamist militant group took control of Gaza, a coastal strip that is home to 2 million Palestinians.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity Friday because the Islamic militant group is yet to announce, said Egypt led meditation efforts "that have apparently paid off".

In an unusual step that indicated Hamas was attempting to prevent further escalation, the Hamas Interior Ministry said the rocket fire went "against the national consensus" and promised to take action against the perpetuators.

More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during that war, a lot of them civilians, along with 66 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians in Israel. A smaller militant group, the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, also possesses a large arsenal of rockets, though it too denied involvement.

Despite its denial, Hamas is one of the only groups in Gaza with the means to strike Tel Aviv.

Israel's Education Minister and security cabinet member Naftali Bennett urged: "The time has come to defeat Hamas and eliminate its leaders, I am calling on the prime minister to convene the cabinet and to force the IDF to present a plan for the destruction of Hamas".

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