Jerusalem: Hamas militants launched two rounds of rocket attack on Tel Aviv Saturday night after a warning, causing no injury, according to the Israeli military.
Israel`s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted three rockets above Tel Aviv`s metropolitan area, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement. About an hour later, the IDF said that the Israeli Air Force targeted the rocket launcher that was used to fire the barrage in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza Strip, Xinhua reported.
Another rocket landed in an open area near the city of Rishon LeZion, south of Tal Aviv, while sirens also sounded off in other cities in central Israel, including Jerusalem, Ramle and Rehovot. No injuries have been reported.
Earlier Saturday Hamas` armed wing Izz Ad Din Al Qassam Brigades released a statement on their website, saying that they would launch rocket attacks at Tel Aviv at 9 p.m. with long-range J-80 missiles which have not been used before.
Diplomatic efforts to end the latest fighting between Israel and Hamas have gathered pace on the fifth day of Israel`s air campaign on Gaza. Arab media Saturday reported on a new Palestinian truce initiative that involves Egypt and Qatar. According to some reports, the deal includes money transfer to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which Israel has halted, and opening of crossing points to Gaza.
On Friday, US President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offering to facilitate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. But Netanyahu said later that he would not end the military operation in Gaza until Hamas halts the rocket fire on Israel.
Since Israel`s Operation Protective Edge began Tuesday, Gaza militants have fired about 690 rockets and mortars towards Israel.
"No international pressure will prevent us from striking, with all force, against the terrorist organization which calls for our destruction," Netanyahu said.
Over the past 24 hours, Israel has struck about 158 sites in the Gaza Strip, an army statement said. The latest air raids have brought the death toll in Gaza to at least 128, including 24 children and 18 women, the Gaza-based Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights said, adding that some 635 houses have been destroyed or damaged.