Netanyahu to cut U.S. visit short after seven injured on rocket attack near Tel Aviv

Trova Cohen – Reuters March 25, 2019

Israeli police and soldiers examine the ruins of a house hit by rockets north of Tel Aviv. Click to enlarge

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he will cut short his trip to the United States after a rocket attack near Tel Aviv wounded seven people.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said the projectile was fired from Gaza, an enclave controlled by the militant Hamas group, and Netanyahu said Israel would respond forcefully.

Netanyahu, who arrived in Washington on Sunday for a four-day visit ahead of an April 9 Israeli election, said he would fly home immediately after meeting President Donald Trump at the White House, as planned, later on Monday.

The early morning attack on Mishmeret, an agricultural town north of Tel Aviv, came at a time of high tension ahead of the anniversary of Gaza border protests at the weekend, and Trump’s expression of support for Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

“In light of the security events I decided to cut short my visit to the U.S.,” Netanyahu said, calling the rocket fire a “heinous attack”.

In Mishmeret one house was completely destroyed, and at least one other house and cars were left badly damaged.

Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said it was treating seven people, including an infant, a 3-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl and a 60-year-old woman who was suffering from blast injuries, burns and shrapnel wounds.

The strike came minutes after the Israeli military activated air raid sirens in the area and said one rocket had been launched out of the Gaza Strip, a coastal territory 50 miles (80 km) away where Hamas and other factions possess such weapons.

Smadar Castelnovo, a Mishmeret resident who lives opposite the destroyed house, said they were woken up shortly after 5 a.m.

“We heard the siren and we didn’t think it was anything, but my daughter made us go into the reinforced room,” said Castelnovo, still in her pajamas.

“My daughter was upset because we had left the dog out. We went out to get the dog and as soon as we went back in there was a very loud boom.”

Police sealed off streets, and emergency services were working at the scene, as Israeli politicians visited to talk to media crews.

GAZA BRACING

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from Gaza, where Palestinians were preparing for Israeli retaliation.

Israel told Palestinian officials it was closing all Gaza crossings as well as access to the sea from the blockaded territory.

Yahya Sinwar, the head of the Islamist militant group Hamas in the coastal enclave, canceled a planned public meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon, with Hamas officials citing “developments.”

Netanyahu said his decision to return to Israel was made after he consulted with Israeli military and intelligence chiefs. He had been due to address AIPAC, the largest U.S. pro-Israel lobby, on Tuesday.

But early on Monday he said: “In a few hours, I will meet President Trump and immediately after that I will return to Israel to direct our actions close-hand.”

His chief rival in next month’s election, centrist ex-general Benny Gantz, issued a statement accusing the rightist premier of having “bankrupted national security” by permitting such attacks. Gantz, who is also in Washington to address AIPAC, had urged Netanyahu to return home.

Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial capital, and outlying communities had last come under a long-range rocket attack that caused casualties during the 2014 war with Hamas.

Two rockets were launched at Tel Aviv on March 14 but caused no injuries or damage. Israel blamed those rocket launches on Hamas, though a security official later said the salvo had been set off by accident.

The latest attack follows disturbances involving Palestinian prisoners in southern Israel. Palestinian officials said 20 prisoners in Israel’s jail in the Negev were injured during violence inside the prison in the wake of “humiliating searches” by prison guards. Israeli officials said two guards were stabbed and wounded.

Source

5 responses to “Netanyahu to cut U.S. visit short after seven injured on rocket attack near Tel Aviv”

  1. It has been proved time andf time again that these rocket teams are disguised IDF soldiers, if they were not, then USA suplied F 16 fightrer bombers would be on these rocket teams in under 5 minutes

  2. Hollywood at it’s best, the new movie coming out on bs news near you. This film has it all explosions, special affects, emotional speeches by a future Oscar winner bebe. The land grab is on its way hold on to your seats as this will be one-sided. There will be loads of extras needed for the Palestinian side they have children, women. And men who can play the realistic dead scenes very well so well that they actually never wake up. So get out your pop corn or fat greasy and burger and sit on that over sized ass that’s never been washed for last year and tune in.

  3. Hollywood at it’s best, the new movie coming out on bs news near you. This film has it all explosions, special affects, emotional speeches by a future Oscar winner bebe. The land grab is on its way hold on to your seats as this will be one-sided. There will be loads of extras needed for the Palestinian side they have children, women. And men who can play the realistic dead scenes very well so well that they actually never wake up. So get out your pop corn or fat greasy burger and sit on that over sized ass that’s never been washed for last year and tune in.

  4. The zionist military is attacking the Palestinian people since 1948.
    They shot to kill, murdering, blowing up houses, killing unarmed people, invasion after invasion of Palestine/Gaza with accompanied house searched on and on, till the zionist military was sure nothing that had the slightest glimp of a weapon had been taken away by them.
    And the bombing and rocketeering on unarmed Palestinian people keeps going on as if there is no tomorrow and the world is sitting on its hands for when you criticize Israell because of their rabidly behaviour towards the Palestines one is branded an anti-semitic.
    It is even poured into Law in many countries in Europe and of course here in USA.

    Now, here occurres an explosion at the Israel side in or on a house and without any question how came this explosion there the answer is right away to continue the Palestinian genocide.
    This is necessary because The Donald is going to support the Zionists who are creedy looking at all the Syrian oil and Syrian gas under the Syrian Golan Height to steel it from Syria. Before that Gaza must be bombed completely flat.

    IMO, the explosion or socalled rocket-attack on Israelian buildings is a FALSE FLAG! It is their planned excuse to once and for all genocide Gaza to be able to use Gaza land for future Israelian oil/gas piers for all the exporting to come. For Palestine/Gaza has also its 12 miles sea territory.
    I suppose there is also plenty of gas and oil and Israel wants it all. And The Donald is partner by supporting the stealing of the Syrian Golan Heights.

    The Zionists want it all and everybody have to make way for them. They are in a hurry.

  5. FAKE NEWS!