Palestinian militant group Hamas said Wednesday it had fired more than 200 rockets into Israel in retaliation for strikes on a tower block in Gaza.
The armed branch of Hamas said in a statement that it was “in the process of firing 110 rockets towards the city of Tel Aviv”, and 100 rockets towards the southern town of Beersheva, “as reprisal for the restarting of strikes against civilian homes”.
Sirens rang out in both places shortly after the announcement, according to the Israel Defence Forces, which added that families in Tel Aviv had been woken up and rushed to bomb shelters.
Hamas had previously reported the destruction of a nine-storey building in the centre of Gaza, the Israeli-blockaded enclave they control.
“Significant damage was caused to the tower and its neighbouring buildings,” reported Hamas television channel, Al-Aqsa TV.
Witnesses said several missiles struck the building, containing homes, businesses and a local television channel.
The latest salvo of rocket fire follows one earlier in the evening, also towards Tel Aviv, which killed one person on the outskirts of the city.
Since Monday three Israelis have been killed and dozens of others injured in rocket strikes from the Gaza Strip.
At least 32 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli strikes on the enclave, including 10 children, and more than 220 have been injured, local authorities said.
The UN envoy for Middle East Peace, Tor Wennesland, warned that Israel and Hamas were “escalating towards a full-scale war”.