Hamas says it fired 40 rockets, claims responsibility for firing M-75 and Fajr-5 rockets at central Israel, J-80 missile at Ben Gurion Airport.
A heavy barrage of rockets was fired at Israel on Tuesday night, ar around 10:40pm. Loud explosions were heard in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, while Code Red sirens blared throughout southern and central Israel.
Hamas said it fired 40 rockets at Israel. Among them, two hit open areas in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, four more in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council, and five hit open areas in the Be’er Sheva area.
At least one was intercepted over central Israel and another fell in an open area. Two more were intercepted over Sderot, two intercepted over Be’er Sheva, two shot down over Kiryat Malachi, three were intercepted over Ashkelon.
Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the fire at central Israel, saying they fired M-75 and Fajr-5 missiles at the Tel Aviv area and a J-80 rocket towards Ben Gurion International Airport.
The latest ceasefire, that was set to expire on midnight, was broken some 8 hours earlier when three Grad rockets fired from the Gaza Strip fell near Be’er Sheva and Netivot on Tuesday afternoon. The IDF responded by hitting different targets in the Gaza Strip.
Later, rockets were fired at Netivot and the Sdot Negev Regional Council. Two of the rockets were intercepted over Netivot while one fell in an open area in Sdot Negev. After 8pm, rockets were fired at Ashdod and Hof Ashkelon, both falling in open areas.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, the dominant movement in the Gaza Strip, said it had no knowledge of any rockets being fired.
Even before the rocket fire, the Associated Press quoted Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, who hinted of more rocket fire, saying: “If Netanyahu doesn’t understand … the language of politics in Cairo, we know how to make him understand.”
The rocket attack came hours before a ceasefire deal was exepcted to be signed in Cairo, but in wake of the attack Israel decided to recall its delegation, which was still in Egypt holding indirect talks with Hamas when rockets began to fall. The move seems to indicate that attempts at reaching a deal have collapsed. Palestinians for their part claim the IDF targeted Gaza before the rocket fire.
Full article: Heavy barrage of rockets fired at Tel Aviv area, southern Israel (ynet news)