Diplomacy & defense

Palestinian militants from the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigade, the armed wing of Hamas, carry mock-rockets at a rally at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Central Gaza Strip on December 12, 2014
The test comes ten days after two rockets fired from Gaza landed in Israeli territory

Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas on Monday test fired at least one long-range missile into the Mediterranean sea of the coast of the territory, Israeli media reported.

Israeli communities close to the Gaza border reported hearing detonations originating from the coastal enclave, Channel 2 reported.

Hamas, considered a terrorist group by Israel, regularly test fires rockets within the Gaza Strip in an attempt to improve range and accuracy, with at least 30 short-range projectiles launched in June, the Times of Israel reports.

Monday's test launch comes just over a week after two rockets fired from the Gaza strip landed in Israeli territory. 

The first rocket landed on a residential street in the Israeli city of Sderot, with a second projectile landing in an open area some some 20 kilometers southwest of the city the next day.

No injuries were reported in either incident.

Israel responded to the incidents with airstrikes targeting Hamas positions in the north and south Gaza Strip, prompting a warning from Hamas that it would not "sit idly by."

An unnamed Hamas source later told Israel Radio that the group was not interested in an escalation and would rein in splinter groups responsible for the recent rocket fire.

Both Hamas and other splinter Islamic organizations have launched rocket attacks into Israeli territory in the past.

Israel says that it hold Hamas responsible for all projectile fire coming from its territory.

(Staff with agencies)


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