In Gaza, both rulers Hamas and Islamic Jihad, an allied group, issued statements denying any responsibility for the attack, which came just over three weeks ahead of Israel's April 9 election.
Reuters journalists heard explosions, but it was unclear whether they were caused by the rockets or the interceptor missiles fired by Israel's Iron Dome system.
No injuries were reported from either projectile.
Israeli news media reported on rocket sirens blasting across Tel Aviv as well as the satellite cities of Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bat Yam, Holon, Azor and Rishon Letzion.
Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, citing an unidentified Israeli official, said the Palestinian faction Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, did not fire the rockets.More news: Tesla says it'll keep more stores open and raise vehicle prices
The heads of Gaza's ruling Hamas terrorist organization evacuated all of its headquarters in the enclave in anticipation of a likely military response to the attack by the Israel Defense Forces later in the evening.
Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the chief Israeli military spokesman, said the army had been caught off guard by Thursday night's rocket barrage. So did Hamas, apparently, with a group's official telling Israeli media that Hamas is "not interested in an escalation" and does not know who fired the two rockets. The tensions further mounted in fall due to continued shelling and arson balloons launches from Gaza into the Israeli territory and Israeli strikes on Palestinian targets in response to these actions. The Hamas administration vowed to "take measures" against those behind the salvo, which it described as violating the "factional and national consensus" governing Gaza. "It's time to defeat Hamas, it's time to demilitarize the Gaza Strip", he said.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai ordered all public shelters opened in the wake of the attack, as did the mayors of other cities in central Israel.
The missile launches come less than a month before the April 9 Knesset elections, and two months before Tel Aviv is due to host the Eurovision Song Contest, a major worldwide event that is expected to draw many thousands of tourists from all over Europe.
"I suggest to Hamas, don't count on it", he told his Cabinet.
The rocket fire on Tel Aviv, the first since 2014, mark a significant escalation that raised the likelihood of a harsh Israeli reprisal. "We'll do whatever is necessary to return the peace and quiet to the Gaza border communities, and the entire south".