Smoke and flames are seen during an Israeli air strike on Gaza on Friday [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

Israel launched air strikes on Gaza hours after rockets were fired near Tel Aviv, raising fears of a major escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Explosions were heard in the Gaza Strip early Friday and Palestinian witnesses said Israeli planes bombed Hamas security positions.

There was no immediate word of casualties in air strikes that hit four buildings used by Hamas’ security forces, which had been evacuated as a precaution.

The Israeli military said it was attacking “terror sites” in Gaza, hours after it said two rockets were launched from the enclave at the Tel Aviv area.

The air attacks were taking place in the southern Gaza town

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