A picture taken on the southern Israeli border with Gaza shows smoke billowing after a mortar attack launched from the Gaza Strip, on July 8, 2014
A picture taken on the southern Israeli border with Gaza shows smoke billowing after a mortar attack launched from the Gaza Strip, on July 8, 2014 © Jack Guez - AFP
A picture taken on the southern Israeli border with Gaza shows smoke billowing after a mortar attack launched from the Gaza Strip, on July 8, 2014
AFP
Last updated: July 9, 2014

Loud explosions rock Jerusalem after air raid sirens sound

The armed wing of Hamas claimed that it fired several rockets at Jerusalem and Israeli cities Tel Aviv and Haifa Tuesday.

"For the first time, the (Ezzedine al-) Qassam Brigades strike Haifa with an R160 rocket, and strike occupied Jerusalem with four M75 rockets and Tel Aviv with four M75 rockets," a statement said.

It was the first time since a major 2012 conflict that Gaza-based militants had fired rockets at the Holy City, and came as Israel pressed an aerial offensive against the besieged coastal Strip.

More than 130 rockets were fired at the Jewish state on Tuesday, the army said, after the military began the offensive it called Operation Protective Edge.

Most hit open spaces causing no damage, and at least 23 were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system, the military said.

Tuesday's air strikes against at least 150 targets had killed 17 people, both militants and civilians, and wounded more than 100 in Gaza, medics said.

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