The Palestinian terror group Hamas fired at least one long-range missile into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip on Monday morning, in what appeared to be a weapons test.
The booms of detonations could be heard in communities in southern Israel that border the Hamas-ruled territory, Channel 2 reported.
The jihadist group regularly fires rockets as it works to improve its rocket range and accuracy, a little over two years after it last fought Israel. In June, it test-fired dozens of short-range rockets inside Gaza, with Israeli sources estimating that at least 30 projectiles were launched.
Monday’s test comes some 10 days after two projectile strikes in two days from Gaza on nearby Israeli population centers. The first attack — in which a rocket hit a street in the city of Sderot — caused some damage to nearby homes and cars, but no injuries. Three people were hospitalized for anxiety following the strike.
The following day, a mortar shell fired from the Strip landed in an open area in the southern Eshkol region. There were no injuries or damage reported from the shell, according to the IDF.
The army responded with a massive bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip, targeting strategic Hamas positions in the north and south of the enclave.
While Hamas initially warned that it would not “sit idly by” if Israel continued airstrikes on its installations, the group reportedly sent a message to Israel calling for calm and saying the terrorist group was not interested in a further escalation of tensions.
Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for any attacks emanating from Gaza and routinely responds to such launches with strikes against Hamas targets.