Escalation: Sirens Go Off in Tel Aviv, Residents Report Explosion

JERUSALEM (TheBlaze/AP) — Tel Aviv residents said they heard an explosion following an air-raid alert across the city, raising fears of a Gaza rocket strike on Israel’s commercial capital.

(Related: Fury of Hamas Rockets on Southern Israeli Towns Kills Three Civilians, While Israel Continues Military Operation)

Israeli authorities were trying to determine where the rocket may have landed on Thursday. Eli Bean, the head of Israel’s rescue service, said no injuries have been reported.

Israeli military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said nothing landed on the ground, raising the possibility it fell in the sea.

“A few minutes ago, sirens in Tel Aviv sent residents running for shelter. We can confirm that no rockets struck in the area,” an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson tweeted.

Mordechai said residents of central Israel should prepare for a “not quiet” night.

Islamic jihadists claimed they shot a long-range “Fajr” missile from Gaza toward Tel Aviv, Israel’s army radio reported.

The army radio also reported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Tel Aviv at the time, holding meetings in his office there.

A strike on Tel Aviv would be the first time Gaza rocket squads have reached the city and that would mark a significant escalation.

Israel has been threatening to widen a military offensive launched on Wednesday against Gaza Hamas militants.

Exclusive Blaze video below shows rockets fired into southern Israel being intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system Wednesday night:

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​TheBlaze’s Sharona Schwarz contributed to this report.