Hamas has launched a barrage of rockets toward southern Israel on Tuesday afternoon, after months of restraint on behalf of the Gaza rulers.

Seven rockets exploded in open areas in Eshkol Regional Council on Tuesday afternoon, after four rockets were fired at Hof Ashkelon and Sha'ar Hanegev regional councils overnight Monday. More rockets were subsequently fired, but caused no casualties or damage.

There were no reported casualties or damage.

Hamas took responsibility for the rocket fire overnight Monday, and announced on Tuesday afternoon that its military wing had fired 10 Grad rockets toward Israel.

The rocket fire marks an unusual move for the group, which has been avoiding launching rockets toward Israel for many months now.

Following the attack, communities near the Gaza border were put on heightened alert. The residents were given instructions to remain at a close distance to a bomb shelter.

In the past 24 hours, the Israel Air Force carried out several air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Overnight Sunday, Israel attacked a military compound in southern Gaza.

On Sunday morning, a terrorist cell crossed the border from Egypt into Israel and detonated an explosive device which ended up killing an Israeli citizen who was working on the construction of the Israel-Egypt border fence.

On Monday evening, the IDF carried out strikes in several locations in Gaza, and Palestinian reported that five people were wounded. Shortly afterward, the IDF carried out two more strikes and killed four Palestinians.