Gaza protests along border called off after Israel airstrikes

Air-raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv after two rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel

The cancelation of the weekly march to the Gaza border comes after a tense night between Israel and Hamas, with two missiles launched at Tel Aviv and over 100 Hamas targets bombed in Gaza by the IAF in retaliation.

The statement included photographs of several sites the military said it targeted, including what it called the headquarters of Hamas's West Bank operations, a rocket manufacturing site, and a naval post which it described as a weapons depot.

Witnesses said powerful explosions from the air strikes rocked buildings in Gaza and lit the skies over targeted sites.

Health Ministry officials in Gaza said two people, a man and a woman, were wounded when their house was damaged in Rafah in the early morning.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for any rocket fire from Gaza, even if carried out by smaller groups outside direct Hamas control, a policy reiterated by Israel after the overnight strikes. The military said several rockets were intercepted by its air defense systems, and there were no reports of injuries.

In October 2018, a rocket fired by Palestinians in Gaza fell into the sea off Tel Aviv and another hit the southern city of Beersheba.

Shortly before the rocket attack, Hamas police on Thursday violently broke up a rare protest by demonstrators angry about the dire living conditions in Gaza. Israel, however, has yet to officially confirm the ceasefire.

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In Gaza, there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Prior to that the last attacks on the Tel Aviv area came during the July 2014 war between Israel and Gaza militants. A smaller militant group, the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, also possesses a large arsenal of rockets, though it too denied involvement.

Netanyahu's main rivalry in the upcoming elections, former army chief of staff Benny Gantz and leader of the Blue and White party said, "Only an aggressive and severe response" was necessary, "otherwise it will be impossible to renew our deterrence".

A Hamas official meanwhile said an agreement to restore calm has been reached after Egypt-led meditation efforts "that have apparently paid off".

Tensions between Israel and Gaza have been boiling ever since Palestinians began violent protests near Israel's border fence.

Hamas's so-called military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, not only denied it was behind the rocket launchings but said the attacks on Israel came while Hamas members were meeting with Egyptian officials over the Gaza truce.

Danon slammed Hamas saying it uses civilians "as human shields" and that "a terrorist organization that tries to harm Israel will encounter a relentless and uncompromising force".

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