Hamas fires rockets at Israel from Gaza in first long-range attack in months

One of Israel’s Iron Dome defence missiles (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)
One of Israel’s Iron Dome defence missiles (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Hamas has fired a barrage of rockets at Israel from Gaza, triggering air raid sirens as far as Tel Aviv for the first time in months.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in what appeared to be the first long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January.

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 Sunday's rocket attack, with launches audible in central Gaza. The Israeli military reported that eight projectiles, fired from Rafah in southern Gaza, crossed into Israel, with some intercepted.

Earlier, aid trucks entered Gaza from southern Israel through a new agreement, bypassing the Rafah crossing with Egypt after Israeli forces seized its Palestinian side.

However, ongoing fighting has made it unclear if humanitarian groups can access the aid.

Egypt refuses to reopen its side of the Rafah crossing until control is returned to Palestinians, temporarily diverting traffic through Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing after a call between US President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Yet, fighting near Rafah has made the crossing largely inaccessible.

The war between Israel and Hamas, now in its eighth month, has killed nearly 36,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials.

Approximately 80 per cent of Gaza's 2.3 million residents have fled their homes, severe hunger is widespread, and parts of the territory are experiencing famine, say UN officials.

Hamas triggered the war with its October 7 attack on Israel, in which militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seized 250 hostages. Hamas is still holding about 100 hostages and the remains of approximately 30 others, after most were released during a ceasefire last year.