Kassam rocket launch from Gaza.
Kassam rocket launch from Gaza.

Kassam rockets fired by Hamas terrorists slammed into the western Negev in the early morning light of Israel's Independence Day, in a faint echo of the Arab attacks on the nascent state in 1948.

In a statement issued from Gaza City, the Izz a-Din al-Kassam Brigades, said it had fired up to 30 rockets and 50 mortar shells at Israel. The terror group said the attack was a “reaction to the continued Zionist crimes against our people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Izz a-Din al-Kassam is a military unit in the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Hamas faction.

An IDF spokesman dismissed the claim, and told Arutz-7 that only two rockets actually reached Israeli territory “north of Gaza” out of a total of six rockets that were launched.

Eight mortar shells also reached the western Negev, according to the army spokesman, although “more were launched.” The specific number of mortar shells fired at Israel was unavailable.

No injuries or damage were reported in the attacks, said the spokesman. Residents in an unidentified community in southern Israel reported some damage, according to Ynet.

IDF helicopters returned fire, shooting at the open areas in which the launch sites were identified, but hit no one. “That was not the intent,” said the army spokesman, who added the primary goal of the IDF response was deterrence. He declined further comment.

Tuesday morning’s attack was the first for which Hamas has officially claimed responsibility in the past five months, despite the fact that numerous shellings have been fired at civilian targets in Israel, from areas under the jurisdiction of Hamas.

The November 26th "ceasefire" called for Israel to withdraw its forces and PA terrorist groups to halt the rocket attacks on western Negev communities. Israel stuck to its promise, but more than 200 missiles have been fired at Israel from Gaza since the supposed ceasefire went into effect.