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Israeli launches Gaza air strikes

The Israeli army attacked Thursday overnight targets in Gaza Strip, hours after two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv from Gaza, a first since Israel’s 2014 campaign in Gaza.

The blasts were so powerful that smoke could be seen in Gaza City, 25 kilometers (15 miles) away from some of the strikes. The Israeli warplanes could be heard roaring through the skies above Gaza City

Hamas denied responsibility for the attack on Tel Aviv, saying the rockets were launched when the group’s military wing was meeting with Egyptian mediators to try to strengthen a ceasefire with Israel.

In an unusual step that indicated Hamas was attempting to prevent further escalation, the interior ministry said the rocket fire went “against the national consensus” and promised to take action against the perpetrators.

Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, two smaller Gaza armed factions, also denied responsibility.

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