The Hamas terrorist organization launched a massive rocket attack on Ashkelon and much of southern Israel at 5 pm Tuesday, after warning residents of the city of Ashkelon to evacuate by that time. The barrage lasted about 10 minutes.

In a statement on the Hamas Telegram channel, the terrorist organization wrote: "In response to the crime of the enemy displacing our people and forcing them to flee their homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, we give the residents of the occupied city of Ashkelon time to leave before five o'clock in the evening."

In addition, Red alert sirens were activated for the first time in northern Israel and northern Samaria

Hamas has been issuing threats in an attempt to force Israel to stop its retaliation for the massacre of over 900 Israelis on Saturday, a massacre which caused Israel to declare war for the first time in 50 years. In a video message, Hamas threatened to begin executing its hostages if the retaliatory strikes did not stop.