Hamas armed wing targets Israel's Ben-Gurion airport

Hamas's armed wing said on Friday it fired rockets from the Gaza Strip at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion international airport and warned airlines not to fly to Israel's main gateway to the world.

Three rockets were shot down over the Tel Aviv area on Friday. All three were shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, the Israeli army said.

"Three rockets were launched at central Tel Aviv. All three were intercepted over the Tel Aviv metropolitan area," said an army statement.

The rocket fire was claimed by Hamas militants in Gaza who said they had launched "four M75 missiles at Ben Gurion airport" just outside Tel Aviv.

A spokesman for Israel's Airport Authority told AFP that Ben Gurion airport had been closed for "nine minutes" during the air raid, but then resumed operations as normal.

The airport has been fully operational since Israel began an aerial offensive on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian militants intensified their cross-border rocket fire.


International airlines have continued to fly in, despite now-daily rocket salvoes at Tel Aviv that either have been intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system or hit areas where they caused no casualties.

"The armed wing of the Hamas movement has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression, and we warn you against carrying out flights to Ben-Gurion airport, which will be one of our targets today because it also hosts a military air base," said a statement by the Islamist group's Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades.

Earlier on Friday, a rocket fired from Gaza hit a petrol station in the southern city Ashdod, causing a fire and wounding three people, one of them seriously, the emergency services said.

Fire was also exchanged across Israel's northern border. Lebanese security sources said two rockets were fired into northern Israel on Friday but they did not know who had fired them. Israel responded with artillery fire.

Israel's chief military spokesman, Brigadier-General Motti Almoz, said one rocket fell near Kibbutz Kfar Yuval and that there were no casualties or damage.

Reuters, AFP