Israel army says 2 rockets fired at Tel Aviv area from Gaza

Israel has blamed militant group Hamas for launching two rockets at Tel Aviv. Hamas has denied responsibility, but Israel has already launched retaliatory strikes on a Hamas naval base south of Gaza City.

Israel's military has said two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip to the Tel Aviv area on Thursday, in the first such attack there since the 2014 war in the Palestinian enclave.

The rockets triggered air raid sirens across the city, but no damage or injuries were reported.

But it marked the first time that Tel Aviv, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Gaza, has been targeted by rocket fire since a 2014 war with Gaza militants.

Politics | 28.02.2019

The Israeli government later confirmed it had launched retaliatory strikes against "terror sites" in Gaza. Palestinian media said the target was a naval base controlled by Hamas.

Israel holds Hamas responsible

Earlier, the Israeli military said while it did not know who had fired the initial rockets, it held Hamas responsible.

"We are still checking which group did the firing. We don't know who carried it out," chief military spokesman Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis told Israel Radio.

Read more: Gaza's youth stare into the abyss

"The Hamas organization is the main organization in the [Gaza] Strip. It is responsible for what happens within the strip and what emanates from it," Manelis added.

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DW News | 13.11.2018

Flicker of hope in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Hamas denies responsibility

Hamas has denied Israel's allegations amid talks with Egypt on Thursday aimed at achieving a long-term ceasefire with Israel.

The Hamas armed wing said in a statement it was "not responsible for the firing of the rockets tonight toward the enemy. They were fired as a meeting was underway between the leadership of the Hamas movement and the Egyptian security delegation over the understandings regarding the Gaza Strip."

Earlier this week, Israel struck Hamas targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire on southern Israel, near the border.

Read more: Gaza threatened by new Israel-Hamas war

Related Subjects

Gaza is also home to other militant groups including Salafists inspired by the "Islamic State" group, as well as Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed armed organization that also holds a formidable rocket arsenal. Islamic Jihad has also denied responsibility for Thursday's attack on Tel Aviv.

Earlier this week, Netanyahu issued a warning to Hamas, rejecting suggestions that Israel would be reluctant to take tough action in Gaza ahead of national elections in April.

"I suggest to Hamas, don't count on it," he told his cabinet. "We will do anything necessary to restore security and quiet to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and to the south in general."

law, es/cmk (AP, Reuters)

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

Jerusalem, the city of David

According to the Old Testament, David, king of the two partial kingdoms of Judah and Israel, won Jerusalem from the Jebusites around 1000 BC. He moved his seat of government to Jerusalem, making it the capital and religious center of his kingdom. The Bible says David's son Solomon built the first temple for Yahweh, the God of Israel. Jerusalem became the center of Judaism.

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

Under Persian rule

The Neo-Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II (3rd from the left) conquered Jerusalem in 597 and again in 586 BC, as the Bible says. He took King Jehoiakim (5th from the right) and the Jewish upper class into captivity, sent them to Babylon and destroyed the temple. After Persian king Cyrus the Great seized Babylon, he allowed the exiled Jews to return home to Jerusalem and to rebuild their temple.

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

Under Roman and Byzantine rule

The Roman Empire ruled Jerusalem from the year 63 AD. Resistance movements rapidly formed among the population, so that in 66 AD, the First Jewish–Roman War broke out. The war ended 4 years later, with a Roman victory and another destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. The Romans and Byzantines ruled Palestine for approximately 600 years.

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

Conquest by the Arabs

Over the course of the Islamic conquest of Greater Syria, Muslim armies also reached Palestine. By order of the Caliph Umar (in the picture), Jerusalem was besieged and captured in the year 637 AD. In the following era of Muslim rule, various, mutually hostile and religiously divided rulers presided over the city. Jerusalem was often besieged and changed hands several times.

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

The Crusades

From 1070 AD onward, the Muslim Seljuk rulers increasingly threatened the Christian world. Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade, which took Jerusalem in 1099 AD. Over a period of 200 years a total of nine crusades set out to conquer the city as it changed hands between Muslim and Christian rule. In 1244 AD the crusaders finally lost control of the city and it once again became Muslim.

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

The Ottomans and the British

After the conquest of Egypt and Arabia by the Ottomans, Jerusalem became the seat of an Ottoman administrative district in 1535 AD. In its first decades of Ottoman rule, the city saw a clear revival. With a British victory over Ottoman troops in 1917 AD, Palestine fell under British rule. Jerusalem went to the British without a fight.

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

The divided city

After World War II, the British gave up their Palestinian Mandate. The UN voted for a division of the country in order to create a home for the survivors of the Holocaust. Some Arab states then went to war against Israel and conquered part of Jerusalem. Until 1967, the city was divided into an Israeli west and a Jordanian east.

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

East Jerusalem goes back to Israel

In 1967, Israel waged the Six-Day War against Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel took control of the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Israeli paratroopers gained access to the Old City and stood at the Wailing Wall for the first time since 1949. East Jerusalem is not officially annexed, but rather integrated into the administration.

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

Muslim pilgrimage to Israel

Israel has not denied Muslims access to its holy places. The Temple Mount is under an autonomous Muslim administration; Muslims can enter, visit the Dome of the Rock and the adjacent Al-Aqsa mosque and pray there.

City of strife: Jerusalem's complex history

Unresolved status

Jerusalem remains to this day an obstacle to peace between Israel and Palestine. In 1980, Israel declared the whole city its "eternal and indivisible capital." After Jordan gave up its claim to the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1988, the state of Palestine was proclaimed. Palestine also declares, in theory, Jerusalem as its capital.

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