Hamas' armed wing claims to have shelled "the occupied city of Tel Aviv". If true, this will have been the first Hamas missile to hit Israel's largest city. Israel has denied the claim, slamming it as propaganda.
As soon as the first reports appeared on popular microblogging site Twitter, Tel Aviv began trending worldwide.
The the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades tweeted the claim, but so far, no confirmation is available.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Avital Leibovich took to her Twitter account to slam the claim as propaganda. She said "Clarification: no rockets were fired toTel Aviv. The rumors are part of Hamas propaganda."
This latest bout of escalated violence happened after the Israeli Air Force (IAF) killed the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades leader Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike on his car in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. Israel's TV Channel 2 says his son and his bodyguard were also killed in the missile attack. There are reports that Raed al-Atar, the commander of Hamas's southern division, was also killed.
Israeli Air Force strikes reportedly hit at least 20 rocket-launching pads belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, “seriously damaging their long-range missile capabilities,” an Israeli military spokesman said. IDF tank fire also struck targets in Gaza. The IDF said it was willing to initiate a ground operation in Gaza to eliminate any further sources of rocket fire.
Hamas has in turn vowed to fight back, anc "continue the path of resistance".