Real siren sounded in Tel Aviv for first time since 1991: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired at least two rockets toward the Tel Aviv metropolitan area at around 6:45 pm Thursday, a day after an Israeli airstrike killed top Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari in Gaza. Both rockets landed in open areas, and there were no reports of injury or damage.
IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai confirmed that there were no reports of explosions on the ground. "The IDF is continuing with its intensive activity in the Gaza Strip," he said. The Magen David Adom emergency services also confirmed there were no injuries in the attack on Tel Aviv.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, saying it fired Fajr-5 missiles at the coastal city.
Tel Aviv highway during siren (Photo: Dana Kopel)
The incident marked the first time that a real siren was activated in Tel Aviv since the Gulf War in the early 1990s.
A man who was driving along the Ayalon Highway during the attack told Ynet: "When we heard the siren everyone stopped, stepped out of their cars and took cover. The last time I did that was during the Gulf War. It was frightening."
Two hours earlier, a siren sounded in Rishon Lezion for the first time since Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense against terrorists in Gaza. A rocket landed in the area a short while later, but there were no reports of injury or damage.
During the evening hours Palestinians fired a rocket at an IDF vehicle travelling near the Gaza border. The soldiers inside the vehicle were not injured, and slight damage was caused to the vehicle.
The rocket barrages on south Israel intensified at around 8 pm. About 30 minutes before the direct hit on the house, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted five rockets over Beersheba. Another one was intercepted over Kiryat Malachi. Sirens were also sounded Thursday evening in Ashdod, and Be'er Tuvia.
Earlier Thursday, three soldiers were injured when a mortar shell hit in the Eshkol region. Two sustained moderate wounds while the third was lightly hurt. The troops were airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.
In the morning three people – two men and a woman – were killed when a rocket hit an apartment building in the city of Kiryat Malachi.
The IDF said Thursday that the Iron Dome missile defense system has successfully intercepted close to 100 rockets since Operation Pillar of Defense began, adding that some 140 rockets and mortars landed in Israeli territory. The army has attacked nearly 230 terror targets throughout Gaza.