Israeli PM evacuated from rally after rocket fired from Gaza

JERUSALEM — Israel said a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into its southern territory Wednesday, forcing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be hustled from a stage during an election rally in the city of Ashkelon.

The Israeli military said its air defence system, known as Iron Dome, intercepted the rocket. There were no reports of casualties.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz posted a video on its website showing Netanyahu being taken to a shelter as he was campaigning hours before the primaries of his Likud party. The video showed Netanyahu and his wife slowly walking off the stage with security guards after sirens went off.

Netanyahu says he knows how to protect Israel, but opponents accuse him of being soft on handling threats from Gaza.

Gideon Saar, Netanyahu’s challenger in Thursday elections, called in a Twitter statement for a “broad national consensus for dismantling the military infrastructure” of Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

A similar incident happened in September when Netanyahu was in the nearby city of Ashdod. He was campaigning then for the second general Israeli election of the year. That was believed to have triggered Israel’s targeted killing of a senior commander in the Islamic Jihad in November. Israel and Gaza militants had their worst round of fighting in months as a result.

No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack. Such sporadic launches of rockets and ensuing Israeli airstrikes have happened frequently despite an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that ended two days of fighting in November.

Hamas, the larger Islamic movement controlling Gaza, seeks “understandings” with Israel to alleviate Gaza’s economic and humanitarian crises. The militant group stayed on the sidelines during the November flare-up.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City’s COVID-19 cases jump to nine from six

Central zone active cases remains lowest of all zones

City of Red Deer trims staff by five per cent to deal with new economic realities

Downsizing of the municipal workforce will cut the annual budget by $7 million

Boys and Girls Club haunted house cancelled

Popular spookfest postponed because of pandemic health restrictions

Demand at Catholic Social Services jumps during pandemic

Provincial fundraising campaign launched

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Sam McBratney, ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ author, dies

Sam McBratney, ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ author, dies

Review: ‘Agents of Chaos,’ from Russia, but not with love

Review: ‘Agents of Chaos,’ from Russia, but not with love

In UN speech, Duterte defends drug war but tempers tone

In UN speech, Duterte defends drug war but tempers tone

China, top global emitter, aims to go carbon-neutral by 2060

China, top global emitter, aims to go carbon-neutral by 2060

‘Unfathomable’: US death toll from coronavirus hits 200,000

‘Unfathomable’: US death toll from coronavirus hits 200,000

Senate GOP plans vote on Trump’s court pick before election

Senate GOP plans vote on Trump’s court pick before election

US execution planned of killer who said witchcraft drove him

US execution planned of killer who said witchcraft drove him

Atlantic City is leading a wave of female casino leaders

Atlantic City is leading a wave of female casino leaders

Most Read