Tel Aviv Rocket Attack Could Prompt Ground Assault From Israel

Tel Aviv Rocket Attack Could Prompt Ground Assault From Israel

A Tel Aviv rocket attack from Palestinian militants aimed at the heavily populated city in Israel could draw the Israelis into a ground assault on Gaza as fighting intensifies in the region.

As The Associated Press reported, air raid sirens sounded as the Tel Aviv rocket attack began, sending residents running for cover in the commercial and cultural capital of Israel. In response to the assault, Israel is preparing to move troops and heavy weapons toward Gaza and calling up tens of thousands of reservists.

The Tel Aviv rocket attack included two rockets aimed at the city, but it was unclear it they landed. A third rocket hit an open area on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, The Associated Press noted.

Fighting has intensified between Israel and Hamas, which now has a stronger arsenal and more support in the region. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has sent a high-level delegation to Gaza in a show of support.

There had been an informal truce between Israel and Hamas in recent years, but in recent days tensions along the border have intensified. It erupted into widescale fighting on Wednesday when Israel assassinated Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari in a missile strike on his car.

In the last three days, Israel has attacked suspected launching sites and other Hamas targets in Gaza, while Hamas has sent more than 450 rockets into Israel. It is believed that so far as many as 30 Palestinians have been killed along with three Israelis.

The Tel Aviv rocket attack represented one of the furthest incursions into Israel for Hamas, a separate report from The Associated Press noted. Cities in southern Israel had been hit before, but this strike at the nation’s heartland is likely to prompt a ground response, observers note.