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Hamas makes unverified claim it’s using new rocket that can hit all of Israel

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The armed wing of Hamas claimed Thursday that it had begun using a new rocket that can reach anywhere in Israel, as the Gaza-ruling terror group launched a major barrage of rockets at the center and south of the country on Thursday afternoon.

“Rockets were launched toward Ramon Airport with the Ayyash missile with a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles),” Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’s military wing, said in a statement.

The rocket was named for Yahya Ayyash, a top Hamas bomb-maker who was responsible for dozens of Israeli deaths before he was assassinated in 1996.

Among the sites Hamas said it targeted was Eilat’s Ramon Airport, to which Israel diverted some air traffic earlier in the day, after halting incoming passenger flights to Ben Gurion International Airport over rocket attacks.

No sirens were heard in the rocket fire toward Eilat, as the projectile landed in an open area far outside the city, where it caused neither injury nor damage. However, the Haaretz daily said the Israel Defense Forces was surprised by the range of the rocket, which flew over 200 kilometers (some 125 miles), having previously believed rockets in the terror group’s arsenal maxed out at some 160 kilometers (nearly 100 miles).

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Abu Obeida said Muhammad Deif, the Hamas military chief, called for “international airline companies to immediately cease their flights to any airport in occupied Palestine,” implicitly threatening that they could be hit. Several US airlines have already begun canceling flights to Israel due to the rocket attacks.

“We tell the enemy: Your airports and every point from northern Palestine to its south is in the reach of our rockets,” Abu Obeida said.

Hamas also said it had launched a number of “suicide drones,” unmanned aerial vehicles carrying explosive payloads, into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. The military confirmed downing at least two such drones.

Channel 12 news reported that the drones appeared to........

© The Times of Israel

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