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Hamas rocket attack from Gaza sets off air raid sirens in Tel Aviv

TEL AVIV, Israel — Hamas fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza on Sunday that set off air raid sirens as far away as Tel Aviv for the first time in months.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in what appeared to be the first long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January. Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility. Israel’s military said eight projectiles crossed into Israel after being launched from Rafah and “a number” were intercepted, and the launcher was destroyed.

Hours later, Palestinian medics said an Israeli airstrike killed at least 35 people in Rafah. Israel’s army confirmed the strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior Hamas terrorists.

Earlier Sunday, aid trucks entered Gaza from southern Israel under a new agreement to bypass the Rafah crossing with Egypt. But it was not immediately clear if humanitarian groups could access the aid.

Egypt refuses to reopen its side of the Rafah crossing until control of the Gaza side is handed back to Palestinians. It agreed to temporarily divert traffic through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing, Gaza’s main cargo terminal, after a call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

But the Kerem Shalom crossing has been largely inaccessible because of Israel’s offensive in Rafah. Israel says it has allowed hundreds of trucks to enter, but United Nations agencies say it is usually too dangerous to retrieve the aid.

Hamas triggered the war with its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, in which terrorists killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seized some 250 hostages. Hamas still holds some 100 hostages and the remains of around 30 others after most of the rest were released during a cease-fire last year.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel must take Rafah to eliminate Hamas’ remaining battalions and achieve “total victory” over the terrorists, who recently regrouped in other parts of Gaza.

The war has also heightened tensions in the West Bank. The Israeli army said a Palestinian male was shot dead near the southern West Bank town of Saeer after trying to stab Israeli forces at Beit Einun Junction.

Meanwhile, Israel’s military said it had detained a suspect over a widely circulated video in which a man dressed as a soldier threatens mutiny. The man says tens of thousands of soldiers were ready to disobey the defense minister over his suggestion that Palestinians should govern Gaza after the war, and pledged loyalty to Netanyahu alone.

Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the man has been removed from reserve duty. The prime minister’s office released a brief statement condemning all forms of military insubordination.

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