Two rockets were fired towards central Israel on Thursday evening, with at least two loud explosions heard, the first time sirens were activated in Tel Aviv since the last war with Gaza in 2014.
According to reports, the two Fajr-5 rockets were fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza, the second strongest group in the coastal enclave after Hamas. One was reported to have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system while another one is said to have fallen in open territory. There were reports of a number of Israeli who were treated for shock.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will hold emergency security consultations at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv.
PIJ has been assessed by IDF military intelligence as a factor increasing the risk of an escalation since it is not under the direct control of Hamas and acts independently for its own interests.
The group first fired an Iranian-made missile at Tel Aviv during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012 from the blockaded coastal enclave.
The IDF has warned that both Hamas and PIJ have restored their military capabilities to their pre-2014 strength, and expect that in the next war the southern communities bordering the Strip would be incessantly pounded with rockets and mortar attacks.
In late February PIJ released a video claiming that it had developed a new missile with the help of Iran capable of striking cities beyond Netanya and during a violent escalation between Israel and terror groups in the Strip in November the group launched a new rocket that hit an apartment complex in the southern city of Ashkelon, killing one Palestinian man and injuring several others. Read more at JPost