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Gaza rocket fire showers Israeli cities

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Jerusalem/Gaza, July 9 (IANS) Heavy rockets fired from the Gaza Strip showered over multiple Israeli cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Tuesday night, as Hamas intensified its response to an Israeli military operation, Xinhua reported.

No injuries were, however, reported in the attacks.

Hamas announced they launched overall four rockets into the Jerusalem area Tuesday evening.

The Israeli military confirmed that a rocket hit a house in a community near Jerusalem. Channel 10 said another rocket was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile battery, and a third one reportedly exploded in an open territory near Bet Shemesh.

The Iron Dome also intercepted more rockets over the south and Tel Aviv, where public shelters were opened due to the escalation in the situation.

Sirens were also heard north of Tel Aviv in the cities of Herzelia, Raanana, Kfar Saba and Hadera.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation Tuesday evening, saying the fighting "may take time." He has instructed the IDF to prepare for a possible future ground offensive.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli cabinet decided to recruit 40, 000 reserve soldiers to take the place of active duty soldiers, as the latter were transported to the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces killed 14 Palestinians, including four militants, and injured 40 others Tuesday in a massive military operation launched to prevent rocket attacks aimed at Israel from the Gaza Strip.

According to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), four Palestinian militants, armed with grenades and trying to cross into southern Israel from the sea, were killed late Tuesday.