Hamas launches long-range rockets at Eilat and Haifa

Gaza rocket attacks expand to northern and far southern Israel.

By Mindy Rubenstein, World Israel News

Hamas has expanded the scope of its rocket attacks Wednesday, targeting the Israeli cities of Eilat and Haifa.

One long-range rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip Wednesday, setting off the sirens in communities near Haifa, including in the towns of Daliyat al-Karmel and Kerem Maharal, the IDF says.

The IDF later confirmed that the projectile had exploded in mid-air, preventing any damage or casualties.

The Hamas terror group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it launched a R160 missile, which is believed to have a range of 160 kilometers.

Hamas has launched long-range rockets several times during the war that began on October 7, setting off sirens in northern Israel.

Hamas, accused by Israel of receiving direct support in the current conflict from Iran, also claimed responsibility for launching long-range rockets Wednesday from the Gaza Strip towards Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city.

The rocket did not trigger sirens or cause any injuries or damage, as it landed in an open area.

These developments mark an alarming expansion of Hamas’s capabilities.

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Historically, the group’s rocket attacks have predominantly targeted Israeli towns and cities closer to the Gaza Strip or in central Israel.

However, these recent attacks on Eilat and Haifa represent a significant geographic expansion of the areas under threat from Gaza.

The situation is further complicated by rocket attacks from other neighboring countries, such as Lebanon and Syria.

In anticipation of potential conflicts reaching cities like Haifa, medics have prepared an underground hospital.

“Because now the tension in the north is building, we were asked by the ministry of health to prepare the underground facility,” Dr. Michael Halberthal, director general of the Rambam Health Care Campus that runs the operation, told Reuters.

A total of 2,000 beds have been laid out in the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital on three floors, each of them covering about five acres. In peacetime they are parking lots.