Airstrikes hit Rafah after Hamas launches rocket attack on Tel Aviv

World

Hamas has launched rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza for the first time in months.

The barrage of rockets set off air raid sirens in cities as far away as Tel Aviv.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in what appeared to be the first long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January, although Palestinian militants have continued to sporadically fire rockets and mortar rounds at communities along the Gaza border since then.

Hamas’s military wing claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Israeli military said eight projectiles crossed into Israel after being launched from the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where Israeli forces recently launched an incursion.

Israel’s Iron Dome defence system intercepted several of the missiles, it added.

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Earlier on Sunday, aid trucks entered Gaza via Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing for the first time since a new aid agreement was struck.

Aid routes were rediverted after Egypt closed its side of the Rafah crossing over Israel’s decision to seize control of the Gaza side.

It is unclear whether humanitarian groups will be able to access incoming aid because of ongoing fighting in Rafah, however.

The International Court of Justice has ordered Israel to halt its Rafah offensive, with Israel insisting it is key to its self-defence and goal of destroying Hamas entirely.

A placard showing an Israeli hostage during protests inTel Aviv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters
Image:
A placard showing an Israeli hostage during protests inTel Aviv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters

Police and protesters in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Police and protesters in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. Pic: Reuters

Israeli protests over hostages

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing growing pressure to make a deal with Hamas to free its remaining hostages after several bodies were recovered recently.

There were large protests in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, with scuffles breaking out between protesters and police.

Now in its eighth month, the Israel-Hamas war has killed almost 36,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

The vast majority of Gaza’s two million-strong population has been displaced.

Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October last year killed 1,200 people, with militants taking some 250 hostage, around 100 of which remain in captivity in Gaza.


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