Israel strikes about 100 Hamas targets in Gaza Strip

An imagine of targets attacked by the Israel Defense Forces. Image courtesy the Israel Defense Forces

In response to the launches, the IDF said in a statement that it struck some 100 targets throughout the coastal enclave. Other targets included the main underground manufacturing site of standard-grade rockets in the Gaza Strip, a military training site that served as the Hamas center of unmanned aerial aircrafts array in southern Gaza Strip, and a number of other military sites as well.

Shortly after midnight, Israeli jets and helicopters attacked dozens of sites in Gaza belonging to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group, Hamas sources said.

According to the Israeli army, two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory.

Tel Aviv and Rishon Lezion both announced they planned to open public shelters and reports from Gaza stated that Hamas had begun evacuating military posts, anticipating retaliatory strikes from Israel. The Israeli military said several rockets were intercepted by its air defence systems, and there were no reports of injuries.

Hamas, which usually claims responsibility for its military actions, denied involvement in the rocket attack on Tel Aviv and even said it had undermined its interests.

Hebrew-language news outlets reported that locals heard loud explosions after three missiles were fired Thursday overnight at Tel Aviv City, in central Israel.

Naftali Bennett, a member of Israeli Prime Minister's security cabinet, said "the time had come to defeat Hamas once and for all".

The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas militant group that runs Gaza, has said it was not responsible.

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A security official briefed on the situation, who declined to be identified by name or nationality, told Reuters the launch was "the result of an error - that an attack on Israel was not intended".

Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the chief Israeli military spokesman, said the army had been caught off guard by Thursday night's rocket barrage and had no advance intelligence.

The attacks were taking place in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, about 25km south of Gaza City.

Pompeo also defended the administration's work toward a denuclearization deal with North Korea, saying real progress was made in Hanoi even though a final agreement was not reached.

An informal truce between Hamas and Israel had led to relative calm along the border, but recent weeks have seen another uptick in violence. Hamas possesses a large arsenal of rockets and missiles capable of striking deep inside Israel.

Militant factions in Gaza have denied carrying out the launches.

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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