Gazans in the besieged southern city of Rafah told AFP they believed Israel's reported strike against Iran on Friday was little more than a show -- and called for peace in the region.

"As everybody knows, this is all staged and agreed upon in advance from both sides," resident Alaa Abu Taha said.

"If someone wants to strike, they don't give prior warning or threaten before."

Iran's state media reported explosions in the central province of Isfahan as US media quoted American officials saying Israel had carried out retaliatory strikes on its arch-rival.

Israel had warned it would hit back after Iran fired missiles and drones at Israel almost a week ago, which in itself was a retaliation for a deadly strike on April 1 on Iran's consulate building in Syria, widely blamed on Israel.

There has been no reaction from Israeli or Iranian officials and the extent of the damage remains unclear.

Rafah resident Iyad Labbad thinks "nothing will happen" after the reported strikes. "There will be no regional conflict. It's just a show," he said.

He said Iran struck "empty areas" in Israel, which had chosen to "retaliate by striking empty areas" in Iran.

"The war between Iran and Israel will halt soon," he said. "This is all for nothing."

Soon after the war in Gaza began on October 7, Israel told Palestinians living in the north of Gaza to move to "safe zones" in the territory's south such as Rafah.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has since vowed to invade the city, where around 1.5 million people -- more than half the territory's population -- are living in shelters.

AFP spoke to residents as planes rumbled overhead and donkey carts creaked through streets surrounded by the ruins of destroyed buildings.

"We reject wars," said Mahmud al-Saqqa. "You see the situation. Look at Gaza and Rafah. We want peace with Israel. We don't want wars that cause casualties on both sides."

Israel began its assault in Gaza after Hamas militants launched an attack on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people in southern Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,012 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, the territory's health ministry said on Friday.