For the first time in over 20 years, since the Gulf War ended, bomb sirens went off in Tel Aviv. This occurred just an hour after a rocket exploded in Rishon LeTzion. According to the Jerusalem Post, there were no injuries reported. Nevertheless, this is the farthest north thus far that Gaza terrorists have been able to strike. Furthermore, since Tel Aviv is Israel’s economic capital, the site of most foreign embassies, and is very close to where Israel’s international airport is located, any attack upon Tel Aviv compels the Israeli leadership to take stronger actions against the Palestinian leadership in Gaza.

There have been conflicting accounts regarding what happened. At 6:40pm, the Times of Israel reported that air raid sirens went off in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, and Givatayim. Soon after that, Channel 10 reported that the Islamic Jihad took responsibility. At 7pm, Haaretz claimed that a rocket exploded in Holon. And at 7:10pm, IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said that no rockets landed on the ground in the greater Tel Aviv area. However, Channel 2 claimed that the rocket landed between Tel Aviv and Rishon LeTzion, while Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter asserted that the rocket fell into the sea near Bat Yam.

Yet regardless where the rocket actually landed, the fact that sirens went off in the greater Tel Aviv area marks an escalation in this war. Experts believe it was most likely an Iranian-built Fajr 5 from Hamas’s arsenal, which have a range of up to 75 kilometers or 46 miles, which demonstrates that the Islamists in Gaza have gotten more sophisticated technologically and thus pose an even greater threat to Israel. This implies that Israel must act in order to prevent Hamas from becoming a danger to more Israeli communities. According to Interior Minister Eli Yishai, the IDF is amassing ground forces near Gaza and is preparing for an “unprecedented attack.”

Reported by Rachel Avraham for United With Israel