Israeli warplanes attacked militant targets in the southern Gaza Strip early Friday in response to a rare rocket attack on the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, as the sides appeared to be hurtling toward a new round of violence, Associated press reports.
The rocket attack Thursday night caught the Israeli military off guard and marked the first time that Tel Aviv, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Gaza, has been targeted since a 2014 war. Though the attack caused no damage or injuries, it was a significant escalation and set the stage for a tough Israeli reprisal.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency meeting with his military chief and other top security officials. Shortly after, Israeli warplanes attacked targets in southern and central Gaza.
The blasts were so powerful that smoke could be seen in Gaza City, 25 kilometers (15 miles) away from some of the strikes. The Israeli warplanes could be heard roaring through the skies above Gaza City.
The Israeli military said it was targeting “terror sites” in Gaza, but gave no further details. Palestinian media said naval bases belonging to the ruling Hamas group had been struck. There were no immediate reports of casualties.