Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
Hamas boss Yahya Sinwar

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization claimed in a statement late Tuesday night that it was not responsible for the rocket barrage that was aimed at southern Israel, according to a report on Israel’s Reshet Bet station.

The rocket fire targeted the port city of Ashdod during the time that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was speaking at a Likud political event, and the coastal city of Ashkelon as well.

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Hamas leaders told Egyptian mediators who were visiting the enclave that they believe the evening’s rocket fire was “contrary to the Palestinian national interest,” according to Palestinian Authority sources quoted by Israel’s Kan public broadcasting network.

The sources said Hamas sent a message to Israel through the Egyptian mediators, warning the iDF “not to attack Gaza in response to the shooting,” Kan network’s Hebrew-language Palestinian Affairs reporter Gal Berger reported.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.