Hamas says launched 130 rockets towards Tel Aviv

Flames and smoke rise during Israeli air strikes amid a flare-up of Israel-Palestinian violence, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 11, 2021. (Image: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

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SULAIMANI — Hamas Islamists said they had fired 130 rockets towards Tel Aviv on Tuesday (May 11), unleashing a massive barrage on Israel's economic hub, in retaliation for an Israeli strike on 12-storey tower near Gaza's coast.

Air raid sirens were ringing out across the Tel Aviv area, AFP reporters and the Israeli army said.

There was no immediate indication on casualties, but Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP that an empty bus had been hit in Holon, south of Tel Aviv.

The tower struck earlier in Gaza was described by Hamas as a residential building. It also houses offices of several Hamas officials, AFP reporters said.

Hamas, had warned it would retaliate over the strike, before confirming it had launched an attack on "Tel Aviv and its suburbs with 130 missiles".

The dramatic escalation between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad, was sparked by unrest in Jerusalem, especially at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site.

Hamas on Monday launched rockets towards Jerusalem, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared as a "red line".

He has said Israel would intensify its air campaign in Gaza.

(NRT Digital Media/AFP)

This story was updated at 9:34 p.m EBL