Gaza militants conduct first joint exercise

A number of Palestinian militant groups launched eight rockets into the Mediterranean Sea off the Gaza Strip on Tuesday (December 29) at the start of what they called their first-ever joint exercise.

Israeli media described the exercise as a show of force organized by Iran.

The 24-hour exercise was announced on behalf of a joint command set up by the groups in 2018 - including fighters from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

It includes land and coastal exercises they described as a test of their preparedness for any future confrontation with Israel.

Spokesman Abu Ubaida.

"These resistance drills are an assurance of the readiness of the resistance, to defend our people in all its states, and under all circumstances, and the leadership of the resistance is ready for any battle to protect our land and people. God is mighty, and victory to our people and resistance."

Tensions between Iran and Israel have risen since the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist last month.

Iran has blamed Israel for his death but Israel has neither confirmed nor denied it played a role.

Tuesday's Gaza missile display did not trigger any sirens in Israel, whose drones keep a close eye on Gaza and which employs a sophisticated missile interception system.