Gaza militants fired a long-range Grad rocket into western Negev, early on Friday, the Israeli Army Radio reported. No casualties were reported.

The Soviet-designed rocket exploded north of the Israeli town of Ofakim, damaging a tanker truck in the attack, considered to be ‘the first of its kind for several months,’ Israel’s military said.

Grad-type rockets have a range of up to 40 kilometres, about twice the distance of the Qassam rockets used by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip.

The explosion followed two earlier Qassam-rockets launched at night from the coastal enclave into western Negev. A third Qassam launch was also reported a few hours after firing of the Grad-type rocket.

The attack came hours after Israeli warplanes bombed the shoreline south of Gaza City, where a loud explosion was heard just after 1 a.m, local police said.

The firing of the Grad-type Katyusha comes amidst growing violence in Gaza, as Israeli forces killed three top Gaza militant leaders on two separate occasions in the last few weeks.

The Army of Islam Gaza leaders, named as Mohammed Nimnim, and Islam and Mohammed Yassin, were struck in Israeli air strikes on November 3 and 17. Israel accused them of having planned to attack Israelis in the Egyptian Sinai.

Israeli warplanes have been reported carrying out regular attacks on the Gaza Strip.