Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was rushed off stage during a campaign event when a missile was reportedly fired into the nation.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that at least one rocket was fired by Gaza terrorists into southern Israel and was shot down by the Iron Dome defense system as the prime minister was rushed to a bomb shelter for safety.
(Video: Fox News)
Netanyahu’s campaign rally in Ashkelon was cut short as the sirens sounded in the city which is about an hour from Jerusalem, according to the Jerusalem Post. Netanyahu, who was at the event with his wife, returned to the stage a short time after being rushed off, making it the second time in recent months that one of his campaign rallies was interrupted by rocket sirens.
Video of PM Netanyahu being rushed off the stage after rockets fired towards Ashqelon. pic.twitter.com/rhfCZ8eJlu
— Mannie (@manniefabian) December 25, 2019
“On Hanukkah, the festival of miracles, Israel’s modern miracle—the Iron Dome—just intercepted a rocket mid-air after it was fired from #Gaza at Israeli civilians,” the IDF tweeted Wednesday.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 25, 2019
Though there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, a second tweet from the IDF indicated that a “number of Hamas terror targets in Gaza” were struck by the Israeli Air Force.
In response to the rocket fired from #Gaza at Israeli civilians earlier tonight, the Israeli Air Force just struck a number of Hamas terror targets in Gaza.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 26, 2019
Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud party, is facing challenger Gideon Saar in the party’s primary scheduled for Thursday, as Israel prepares for a historic third election in one year. The prime minister was indicted last month in three corruption cases for fraud, bribery, and breach of trust, allegations the 70-year-old leader denies.
Netanyahu’s campaign event in Ashdod back in September was also interrupted by a rocket attack.
After returning to the stage following Wednesday’s missile launch, the Israeli leader referred to Bahu Abu al-Ata, who was responsible for recent rocket attacks against southern Israel.
“The person that shot at us before is no longer with us. Whoever shot at us now should pack up his belongings,” Netanyahu reportedly said, referring to the Islamic Jihad senior commander who was killed last month.
Israel’s former military chief Benny Gantz, who leads Netanyahu’s liberal rival Blue and White party, tweeted after Wednesday’s attack.
“The situation in which Israeli citizens are at the mercy of terrorists, and the Israeli prime minister cannot patrol part of his country is a certificate of poverty for the southern security policy, and a loss of deterrence that no sovereign state can accept,” he said.
המצב בו אזרחי ישראל נתונים לחסדי טרוריסטים, וראש ממשלת ישראל לא יכול לסייר בחלק ממדינתו הוא תעודת עניות למדיניות הביטחון בדרום, ואובדן הרתעה שאף מדינה ריבונית לא יכולה לקבל.
אנו נחליף את הממשלה, נשנה את המדיניות ונחזיר את ההרתעה ואת השקט לתושבי הדרום.
— בני גנץ – Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) December 25, 2019
“We will replace the government, change the policy and restore deterrence and quiet to the people of the south,” Gantz added.
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