Sirens blare in Tel Aviv as Gaza militants launch more than 350 rockets

Rocket hits parking lot in Ashkelon, causing damage but no reports of injuries; Gantz says offensive to continue during visit to Iron Dome missile defense battery; military chief says IDF aim is to deal critical blow to Islamic Jihad
Sirens were heard in Tel Aviv on Saturday for the first time since the start of Israel's offensive against Islamic Jihad in Gaza a day earlier. So far, terror groups in Gaza have launched more 350 rockets at Israelis cities and communitties, the military said.
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  • Israel launched an operation against Islamic Jihad on Friday, dubbed 'Breaking Dawn,' killing one of the group's senior commanders, Tayseer al-Jabari, in a surprise daytime air strike on a high-rise building in Gaza City and drawing rocket salvoes in response.
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    אנשים תופסים מחסה בעקבות אזעקה, בת ים
    אנשים תופסים מחסה בעקבות אזעקה, בת ים
    Beachgoers seek shelter during rocket siren in Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv on Saturday
    (Photo: Avigail Uzi)
    Rockets were also launched at other cities in central Israel after hours of shelling towards communities along the border and cities in the south.
    One rocket landed in a residential parking area in the early evening hours in Ashkelon, but no injuries were reported.
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    פגיעת הרקטה באשקלון
    פגיעת הרקטה באשקלון
    Rocket lands in Ashkelon parking lot on Saturday
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Saturday that Israel's offensive in Gaza will continue.
    "We have already and will continue to foil attempts to fire rockets at Israel," Gantz said during a visit to an Iron Dome missile defense battery in the south.
    "We hit dozens of the Islamic Jihad's military installations for the production and launching of rockets, and the Iron Dome missile defense teams continue to intercept rockets fired," he said.
    Rocket lands in residential area of Ashkelon
    ( )
    "The leadership of the Islamic Jihad, currently sitting in a hotel in Tehran, or in Syria or Lebanon, is detached from its people in Gaza who are struggling to make ends meet," Gantz said. "Tehran does not pay the salaries of Gazans," he said.
    The military said earlier in the afternoon that it attacked two weapons storage facilities inside the homes of operatives in the Islamic Jihad's naval force.
    Military posts used by the Islamist faction were also hit and destroyed.
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    תיעוד תקיפת צה"ל
    תיעוד תקיפת צה"ל
    IDF footage showing Islamic Jihad target destroyed in an attack on Saturday
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said the goal of the IDF's offensive was to provide residents of the south with security and to inflict critical harm on the Islamic Jihad both in Gaza and on the West Bank.
    "This faction is now on the run, under attack. We have plans and have trained, and will not allow any assault on Israel's sovereignty," Kochavi said visiting troops in the southern command.
    Palestinians reported an international effort to bring about an end to the fighting. According to Arab media, the Islamic Jihad rejected a proposal for a ceasefire from Egypt.
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    כיפת ברזל במבצע עלות השחר
    כיפת ברזל במבצע עלות השחר
    Rockets being launched from Gaza
    (Photo: AP)
    Turkey condemned Israel's actions in Gaza. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry in Ankara said it was unacceptable that civilians including children were killed by IDF strikes.
    "We are very concerned over the escalating tensions in the area. these must stop before a new round of violence begins. We call for reason," the ministry said.
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