The Rehovot building hit by a rocket Thursday
The Rehovot building hit by a rocket ThursdayJamal Awad/Flash90

Multiple rockets were launched towards Jerusalem and the surrounding area early Friday afternoon.

After 13 hours of calm in southern Israel, Red Alert sirens sounded late Friday morning in the Gaza periphery, with around 15 rockets launched towards Israel before noon.

The Iron Dome system intercepted four of the rockets, while the remaining rockets exploded in open areas or fell within the Gaza Strip. One rocket struck a greenhouse in southern Israel.

Just after 12:00, warning sirens were sounded in Beit Shemesh, Gush Etzion, other communities in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

One rocket landed in an open area near the town of Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion, while a second rocket was intercepted by the David's Sling missile defense system. A third rocket was downed by the Iron Dome defense system.

The IDF launched a series of retaliatory attacks on Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, an army spokesperson said. Four Islamic Jihad positions in the Strip were bombed, the IDF reported.

A third volley of rocket fire was reported after the attacks on the Jerusalem area, with one rocket hitting a home in the southern town of Sderot. No injuries were reported, but the house suffered major damage.

A second hit was reported in the town of Nir Am. No injuries were reported, but the house sustained damage.

A senior Israeli official said Friday afternoon that Jerusalem has halted ceasefire talks in the wake of the most recent string of rocket attacks.

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conducted an additional security assessment Friday morning, which, among other things, discussed the possibility of reaching a ceasefire with the Islamic Jihad.

The telephone conversation included Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Mossad Director David Barnea, Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar, IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman, Chief Military Secretary of the Prime Minister Maj. Gen. Avi, Government Coordinator for Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Rassan Alian, and the Military Secretary of the Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Yaki Dolf.

Egyptian sources told the BBC Friday morning that a telephone conversation is expected between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Prime Minister Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Blinken, and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

A senior member of the Islamic Jihad told Al Jazeera that "the coming hours are critical in terms of reaching a respected agreement that will preserve the rights, resources, and lives of the Palestinians." The senior official also threatened, "We have the power to silence the confrontation in a way that will surprise everyone if Israeli aggression continues."

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar recommended yesterday during the situation assessment with Prime Minister Netanyahu to strive for the conclusion of Operation "Shield and Arrow" in the Gaza Strip, given that the majority of the targets for elimination have been hit. Bar, the head of Shin Bet, was more assertive and, together with Lt. Gen. Kochavi, recommended that Netanyahu refrain from additional attacks, except for targeted strikes on rocket launchers towards Israel.

An IDF spokesperson responded, "We do not refer to closed and classified discussions." The Shin Bet's response was, "We do not address closed discussions."