Hamas attacks Israel again, fires 'big missiles' towards Tel Aviv

Eight rockets were fired from the Rafah area, says Israel military

Israel Hamas war Representative Image | Reuters

Hamas on Sunday said that it has launched rockets towards the Tel Aviv area in central Israel for the first time in nearly four months. Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that it launched a 'big missile' attack on Tel Aviv. 

In the statement on its Telegram channel, al-Qassam Brigades said the rockets were launched in response to what it called "Zionist massacres against civilians". 

At least eight rockets were fired from the Rafah area in southern Gaza and several were intercepted, said the Israeli military. 

No injuries have been reported so far. 

Rocket sirens were sounded in other cities and towns, including Herzliya and Petah Tikva. 

Israel media published footage of missile fragments in the garden of a building in Herzliya. Another footage showed shrapnel damage to a bedroom in a house. 

The Gaza war has been going on for nearly eight months now after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. Nearly 36,000 Palestinians have been killed so far, according to the health officials. Around 80% of the population's 2.3 million people have fled their homes, severe hunger is widespread and UN officials say parts of the territory are experiencing famine.

During the October 7 attack, around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed by Hamas. The Palestinian militant group has also captured around 250 hostages. According to the IDF, around 100 hostages are still held captive in Gaza. 

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to eliminate Hamas and bring back the hostages held captive by them. Israel has of late intensified its attack on Rafah, where hundreds of Palestinians have settled after fleeing their homes. 

On Friday, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to end its military offensive in Rafah. However, despite the top UN court's ruling, Israel pressed deeper into Rafah on Saturday killing around 30 Palestinians. 

The latest Hamas strike comes at a time when the truce deal negotiations were set to resume in Cairo next week. So far Israel has not agreed to Hamas's demand to end the Gaza war in return for the release of all the hostages. The latest attack is a blow to the truce negotiations and efforts carried out by Egypt, the US and others to halt the Gaza war.

Aid trucks enter Gaza

Meanwhile, aid trucks entered Gaza from southern Israel through a new agreement to bypass the Rafah crossing with Egypt after Israeli troops seized the Palestinian side of it. 

Egypt has refused to reopen its side of the Rafah crossing until control of the Gaza side is handed back to Palestinians. It agreed to temporarily divert traffic through Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing, Gaza's main terminal. But the crossing has been largely inaccessible because of fighting linked to Israel's offensive in the nearby city of Rafah. 

Israel said that it had allowed hundreds of trucks to enter, but the United Nations aid agencies said it was too dangerous to retrieve the aid on the other side. 

Also, northern Gaza is still receiving aid through two land routes that Israel opened in the face of worldwide outrage after Israeli strikes killed seven aid workers in April.

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