Two Gaza Rockets Fall in Sea Off Tel Aviv Coast, Israeli Military Says

Hamas warns that disproportionate response by Israel would lead to escalation

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This file picture shows rockets being fired from Rafah in southern Gaza Strip toward Israel, in May.
This file picture shows rockets being fired from Rafah in southern Gaza Strip toward Israel, in May.Credit: SAID KHATIB / AFP

Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel on Saturday, but fell into the Mediterranean Sea, the Israeli military said, after blasts were heard in central Israel.

The rockets fell off the coast of Tel Aviv. No casualties or damage were reported.

Smoke rises off the coast of Tel Aviv on Saturday.

Witnesses in Gaza verified they had seen a rocket launch from within the Gaza City, however there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket firing from any militant groups.

According to a source in Hamas told a Palestinian news agency that stormy weather in Gaza caused a malfunction which triggered the launch of the rockets. A Hamas source, however, said "it wasn't clear who had launched the rockets, if any were launched."

Anticipating Israeli retribution, Hamas has warned Egypt – which often mediates between the group and Israel – that a disproportionate response would lead to escalation. A Hamas official quoted in Palestinian media said on the group has evacuated several military sites in the Strip.

Hamas, as well as Islamic Jihad, warned of a more serious action if hunger striker Hisham Abu Hawash, whose situation has been rapidly deteriorating, dies in Israeli custody.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli police and military said they were investigating reports of two large blast-like sounds that had been heard off the coast of Tel Aviv.

No casualties or no damage were reported, a police statement read.

On Wednesday, an Israeli man was lightly wounded after shots were fired along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military struck Hamas positions in response, wounding at least three Palestinians.

No other casualties were reported on the Israeli side. The employee was a contractor doing maintenance work on Israel's border fence.

Israeli tanks struck Hamas posts near Gaza City, Palestinian media and the Israeli military said. Palestinians reported that several farmers were wounded by the Israeli strikes, but their condition was not immediately clear. The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed three casualties without confirming their state.

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