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Loud explosions heard in Jerusalem after sirens sound off

English.news.cn   2014-07-09 03:39:14

JERUSALEM, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Three loud explosions were heard in west Jerusalem shortly after sirens went off late Tuesday. It was not clear whether it was rockets attack from the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip or incoming projectiles being intercepted.

Israeli media said that Hamas claimed to have fired four M75 rockets toward Jerusalem, about 80 kilometers north of Gaza.

Besides Jerusalem, which Israel proclaims as its capital, sirens also sounded off in a number of other cities across Israel on Tuesday night, including Israel's largest coastal city of Tel Aviv. Three rockets fired toward Tel Aviv were intercepted on Tuesday by Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile shield systems, Israeli media reported.

Residents in central Israel said that a large blast was heard over Tel Aviv and its surrounding suburbs. Sirens sounded off in the area for the third time tonight. No injuries were reported.

Sirens even went off in the cities of Natanya and Caesarea north of Tel Aviv, the reports said.

Israel launched "Operation Protective Edge" early Tuesday morning against the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip amid incessant rocket fire toward southern Israel from the tiny enclave.

The Israeli military said its air force has struck more than 150 targets in Gaza, including homes of several Hamas leaders, since the massive aerial operation started. The Palestinians reported at least 16 people were killed, including a Hamas naval commander and two children.

The operation, however, was met with more than 130 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel since Monday evening, some of which deep into central Israel Tuesday, reaching suburbs of Israel's largest coastal city of Tel Aviv. No casualties were reported from Tuesday's rocket fire.

The Israeli security cabinet has authorized the IDF to call up 40,000 reserve soldiers to take over positions manned by active duty soldiers, who are making their way to southern Israel. Security officials said Israel may conduct a ground operation, in accordance with the developments.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation on Tuesday night, saying the operation "may take time." He has instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for a ground offensive.

Editor: An
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