It’s been confirmed that two missiles landed and exploded in open areas in Tel Aviv today. The BBC:
Palestinian militants have attempted to hit Israel’s commercial capital, Tel Aviv, with missiles fired from Gaza. . . .
Israel’s defence minister authorised the call-up of 30,000 reservists.
The armed wing of Islamic Jihad said it had fired an Iranian-built rocket at Tel Aviv, AFP news agency reported. “The Quds Brigades hit the occupied city of Tel Rabea (Tel Aviv) with a Fajr-5 rocket causing a large explosion to shake the city,” the group said in a brief statement.
This is the first time Tel Aviv has been threatened by missiles since the 1991 Gulf War, when missiles fired by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq landed in the city.
The Times of Israel website says sirens were also sounded in the Tel Aviv suburbs of Bnei Brak, Givatayim and Ramat Gan.
Tel Aviv’s distance from the Gaza Strip and the fact that the coastal city, unlike Israel southern cities which are sadly used to these threats, mean this has been perceived as a serious escalation of Hamas’s efforts and capabilities in the conflict. And while the Palestinians’ weapons are normally referred to as “rockets” (because they’re technically crudely aimed artillery, not guided missiles), it’s sort of easy to get the impression that these are insurgents armed with some kind of rinky-dink weaponry. Here’s what’s being aimed at the second largest city in Israel today:
(The systems are supplied by the government of Iran; this is a photo of one of Iran’s Fajrs, not the ones actually being used in Gaza.)