Tel Aviv targeted by rockets after Israel unleashes new air strikes on Gaza

11 May 2021, 21:59 | Updated: 12 May 2021, 10:13

An Israeli firefighter works at the site where a rocket, fired from the Gaza, hit the central Israeli town of Holon, near Tel Aviv
An Israeli firefighter works at the site where a rocket, fired from the Gaza, hit the central Israeli town of Holon, near Tel Aviv. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Palestinian militants have targeted Tel Aviv with more than 100 rockets after Israel unleashed new air strikes on Gaza amid a conflict sparked by weeks of tensions in Jerusalem.

The exchanges have killed a number of militants and civilians, including children, in Gaza and at least three Israelis.

The barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip and air strikes into the territory continued throughout Tuesday, in what appeared to be some of the most intense fighting between Israel and Hamas since their 2014 war.

READ MORE: Israel launches air strikes on Gaza targets following rocket attacks

READ MORE: Hamas fires rockets at Jerusalem in response to 'Israeli aggression'

The fire was so relentless that Israel's Iron Dome rocket defence system seemed to be overwhelmed, while columns of smoke rose from many places in Gaza.

The violence has extended to Tel Aviv, which came under fire from a barrage of rockets.

Hamas said it launched a total of 130 rockets in response to Israel's destruction of a high-rise building in Gaza earlier in the evening.

Israel's transportation authority said it was closing the country's main international airport near Tel Aviv.

Thick smoke billows from Hanadi residential tower in Gaza after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike
Thick smoke billows from Hanadi residential tower in Gaza after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike. Picture: PA

Since Monday, 28 Palestinians - including 10 children and a woman - have been killed in Gaza, most by air strikes, health officials there said.

The Israeli military said at least 16 of the dead were militants.

Two women were killed by rockets fired from Gaza that hit their homes in the southern city of Ashkelon - the first Israeli deaths in the current violence - and a 50-year-old woman was killed by the barrage on Tel Aviv.

At least 10 other Israelis have been wounded since Monday evening.

After those deaths, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said officials decided to "increase both the strength and rate of the strikes" against militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian officials said they were trying to broker a ceasefire, but the cycle of violence was gaining momentum.

Cars burn after being hit by a missile fired from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon
Cars burn after being hit by a missile fired from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon. Picture: PA

Even before the two Israeli deaths, the Israeli military said it was sending troop reinforcements to the Gaza border, and the defence minister ordered the mobilisation of 5,000 reserve soldiers.

The barrage of rockets and air strikes was preceded by hours of clashes on Monday between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, including dramatic confrontations at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a sacred site to Jews and Muslims.

The violence has been fuelled by conflicting claims over Jerusalem, which is at the emotional core of the long conflict.

Hundreds of residents of Arab communities across Israel staged overnight demonstrations denouncing the recent actions of Israeli security forces against Palestinians.

It was one of the largest protests by Palestinian citizens in Israel in recent years.

In the central Israeli town of Lod, police fired tear gas and stun grenades after mourners threw rocks at officers during the funeral of an Arab man allegedly shot by a Jewish resident the night before.

Thousands took part in the funeral, and police said the crowd set fire to a patrol car, a bus and a motorcycle. Two police officers were injured.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and numerous skirmishes since the militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007. Recent rounds of fighting have usually ended after a few days, often helped by mediation by Qatar, Egypt and others.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

JD Vance joked UK could become 'Islamist' under Labour

Trump's vice-president pick JD Vance joked UK could be 'first Islamist country to have nuclear weapons' under Labour

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer hosts the first roundtable with regional UK mayors, along with Angela Rayner

Ministers pledge to give more powers to local areas, in 'devolution revolution'

Starmer has launched a defence review

Keir Starmer launches review of armed forces as he warns of 'dangerous and volatile world'

Annabel Croft and Graziano di Prima   at Strictly Come Dancing - The Live Tour. Utilita Arena. 18th January 2024.  Ref:LMK11-180124-001 Steve Bealing/Landmark Media

Strictly Come Dancing pro Graziano Di Prima 'flees the country' after being fired following claims of misconduct

Joe Biden has admitted that calling for Democrats to put Trump in a 'bullseye' was a mistake

Joe Biden admits it was a 'mistake' to urge Democrats to 'put Donald Trump in a bullseye' after assassination attempt

Jay Slater's mother Debbie Duncan is said to be 'demanding answers'

Jay Slater's mother 'demands answers' after human remains found just yards from teen's last known location

Trump has selected Vance as his running mate

Who is JD Vance, Donald Trump's pick for vice-president?

Donald Trump has selected JD Vance (right) as his running mate and would-be vice president

Donald Trump chooses senator JD Vance as running mate, as he is officially nominated as Republican candidate

Ralf Schumacher and David Schumacher at Hockenheimring on April 05, 2022

'I'm 100% behind you': Ralf Schumacher's son congratulates his father after he comes out as gay

David Lammy has called for a ceasefire on a trip to Israel

Foreign Secretary David Lammy reiterates call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire and hostage deal in Gaza

Hamza Alam

East Londoner who 'disguised himself as a librarian' while urging TikTok followers to kill Jewish people jailed for 4 years

The England fan is confident England can bring football home in the next four years.

England fan has ‘no regrets’ over doomed Euro ‘winners’ tattoo

Queen Camilla left in histerics as Jersey cows get frisky during royal visit while bemused King watches on

Queen Camilla left in hysterics as Jersey cows get frisky during royal visit while bemused King watches on

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper during a visit to Lewisham Police Station in south London.

Home Secretary to probe 'disgraceful' election intimidation, as Jo Cox's sister says UK politics 'not in a good place'

An FBI investigation discovered the influencer had forced women to work for her in poor conditions with no pay

Instagram influencer jailed for human trafficking and slavery

People shelter under umbrellas as the rain pounds down last week.

Return of the summer washout: UK braces for flooding and travel chaos as Met Office issues weather warnings