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Explosion, air raid sirens heard in Tel Aviv for first time since Gulf War

Published time: November 15, 2012 15:25
Edited time: November 15, 2012 23:39

A picture taken from the southern Israeli town of Sderot shows a rocket being launched from the Gaza strip into Israel on November 15, 2012. (AFP Photo / Jack Guez)

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A rocket has hit Tel Aviv. The sound of an explosion and air raid sirens were heard throughout the city. There are no reports of injuries or damage. It was the second rocket to land in the greater Tel Aviv area on Thursday.

A siren warning residents of incoming rockets was heard in the Tel Aviv area at around 6:45pm on Thursday. An explosion was reportedly heard shortly after.

RT correspondent Tom Barton said he heard the sirens and the explosion while reporting from central Tel Aviv.

“The sirens sounded, much to our disbelief. We didn’t expect sirens to be heard this far away from Gaza. It’s never happened before,” he said.

The rocket landed in the sea in front of Jaffa Beach, south of Tel Aviv. Islamic Jihad has already claimed responsibility for the attack, Ynetnews reports.

Today marks the first time air raid sirens were set off in Tel Aviv since the 1991 Gulf War.

The news comes shortly after a rocket from Gaza hit Rishon LeZion, a city located just nine miles from Tel Aviv.

No injuries were reported from the previous strike. 

Rishon LeZion, a city of 200,000 people, is Israel's fourth largest city.

The rocket reportedly set off an air raid siren in the city.

The area is located just nine miles from Tel Aviv, and is Israel's fourth largest city.

The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed the strike on its Twitter account.­

Israel and Hamas have exchanged fire for a second day in a row, after Israel opened strikes on Gaza on Wednesday, killing the commander of the Hamas military wing.

Since then, Israel has reportedly hit more than 200 targets in Gaza. Hamas has responded by firing rockets at Israel.

The exchanges have resulted in a number of casualties on both sides. Three people have been killed and several dozens injured in Israel while in Gaza, at least 13 people have been killed and over 100 injured.

The strike comes some 17 hours after Hamas’ armed wing claimed to have shelled Tel Aviv.

Israeli Defense Forces denied the report.