Gaza strikes back at Israel after enduring months of war

Hamas rockets are seen falling on Bnei Brak on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Hamas/Telegram

May 26 (UPI) -- The armed wing of Hamas, the Palestinian militia that rules Gaza, has struck back at Israel after facing months of bombing by the Israeli military.

The rockets set off sirens in Tel Aviv, the home of Israel's Defense Ministry and most foreign embassies, for the first time since January as Palestinians seek to defend themselves from Israel's war that has cost the lives of nearly 36,000 people, largely women and children, in the occupied Palestinian enclave.

Hamas shared videos of the rockets causing explosions near Tel Aviv on Telegram. It was not clear how many rockets were fired or intercepted by Israel's military.

"We bombed 'Tel Aviv' with a large missile barrage in response to the massacres against civilians," Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.

In further comments, Hamas said that a permanent end of Israel's military campaign in Gaza, not just Rafah alone, is needed for a permanent ceasefire.

"This is the basis and starting point for anything," Hamas officials said.

Hamas, referring to its hostages as prisoners, said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "kills prisoners" and that "he does not care about the prisoners or their families."

"He does not tire of twisting, turning, dodging and giving false impressions of his interest in them, and he tries to gain more time to continue the aggression," Hamas officials said. "Time is running out."

The IDF claimed in a statement that the rockets were launched from Rafah toward "central Israel" as humanitarian aid was entering.