All Israel

Sirens sound in Tel Aviv for first time in months as Hamas fires rocket barrage towards central Israel from Rafah

Israel's aerial defense system intercepts Hamas rockets over central Israel (Photo: Screenshot)

Rocket sirens were activated in several cities and communities in central Israel on Sunday afternoon. Shortly after, Hamas announced they fired a “massive barrage” towards Tel Aviv in response to ongoing IDF operations in the Gaza Strip.

"The targeting of Tel Aviv is a testament that the occupation has not achieved its war aims," said Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri in a statement. He called on the United States to put pressure on Israel to stop the war.

The Israel Defense Forces announced that eight projectiles were identified crossing from the Rafah area into Israeli territory, several of which were intercepted by the IDF Aerial Defense Array.

Two women were lightly injured while running to safety shelters, according to the Magen David Adom Emergency Medical Services. A few others suffered anxiety attacks. Missile shrapnel reportedly hit a house and a parked car in Herzliya. 

Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich stressed that the latest heavy barrage is an indication that the Hamas terrorist organization is under pressure.

“The operation in Rafah is very important… Hamas’ reaction of firing towards the center is derived from their pressure. They are feeling the IDF’s pressure on their necks… This is the only way to restore security and bring back the hostages,” Smotrich said.

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir tweeted: “Rafah! With full force!”

The flare-up around Gaza’s southernmost city comes as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel on Friday to “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah governorate.” A similar demand was made by UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese on Saturday. 

Former Israeli government spokesperson, Eylon Levy, slammed the international body, posting on 𝕏: “The ICJ emboldened Hamas to attack Tel Aviv just now — from Rafah. Because it created political pressure on Israel to give Hamas immunity — in Rafah. Some people want Rafah to be a safe zone for Hamas to attack Israel with impunity. That will not happen.”

Overnight, Israeli forces struck two rocket launchers near Rafah as they continued to eliminate Hamas terrorists and dismantle their terror infrastructure. During scans of the area, Israeli troops located tunnel shafts and large quantities of weapons, including AK-47s, RPGs, grenades and explosives, according to the IDF. 

In addition, Israeli troops resumed their operational activity in parts of the northern and central Gaza Strip. A targeted raid in Jabaliya revealed a weapons storage facility embedded inside a school. Last week, seven bodies of Israeli hostages who were killed on Oct. 7 were retrieved from tunnels found in Jabaliya and brought back to their families in Israel for burial.  

Hostage release efforts 

Meanwhile, Israel's War Cabinet is expected to convene Sunday evening to discuss the latest diplomatic efforts to promote a hostage release deal. Mossad chief David Barnea will debrief the Cabinet after his meetings in Paris, France with CIA Director William Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. 

Israeli media outlets reported there is a likelihood that Qatari mediation in the talks will be prioritized over the negotiations in Egypt, despite Jerusalem’s disappointment with both proposals. The U.S. administration allegedly favors the Qatari path.  

Israel has been particularly frustrated with Egypt in recent weeks following the collapse of the latest round of talks. Egyptian intelligence allegedly changed the terms of the original proposal origin presented by Israel and had Hamas sign off on terms that were never really offered. 

Egypt has also refused to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza from the Rafah border crossing after Israel seized operational control. As aid continues to pile up on the Egyptian side of the border, U.S. President Joe Biden urged Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in a phone call to allow the flow of some of the aid through the Kerem Shalom border crossing

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer criticized Egypt’s handling of the humanitarian situation in Gaza since the beginning of the war. In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday Demer said: “Egypt is withholding 2,000 trucks of humanitarian assistance from going into Gaza because they have a political issue about the Rafah crossing.”

“Egypt could have helped countless Palestinian civilians get out of harm’s way by opening its doors temporarily to refugees leaving war zones in Gaza - like many countries did for Syrian refugees and like dozens of countries, including Israel, did for Ukrainian refugees,” the top minister wrote on 𝕏.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories