Islamic Jihad denies it's behind rockets, Egyptian delegation leaves Gaza

Leroy Wright
March 15, 2019

Israel's Defense Forces confirmed on Thursday that two rockets were fired from Gaza toward the center of Israel, triggering rocket sirens in Tel Aviv. Videos posted online by locals showed empty streets and captured the blare of "code red" sirens, used to warn of imminent attacks.

Reuters journalists heard explosions, but it was unclear whether they were caused by the rockets or the interceptor missiles fired by Israel's Iron Dome system.

There were no reports of damage or casualties, the Israeli army said, and no group in Gaza immediately claimed the attack.

Following the rocket fire, Hamas evacuated all its headquarters in the Gaza Strip in anticipation of a possible retaliation by Israeli military.

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Hamas denied involvement for the rocket salvo, which it said took place as its leaders met Egyptian delegates about efforts to secure a long-term ceasefire with Israel.

Bomb shelters were opened across the city in response to the attack.

The military said two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip and it would provide further details later. Israel holds Gaza's Hamas rulers responsible for all fire out of the territory. He said Israel had no advance intelligence warnings of the rocket fire, which went unclaimed by any Palestinian group. The territory is home to other militant groups, including Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed armed organization that also has a formidable rocket arsenal.

Since the protests began, one Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper along the frontier and another was killed during an undercover raid into Gaza.

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