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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Sebastian Scheiner/UPI/PA Images Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lighting a Hanukkah candle at the Western Wall.

Benjamin Netanyahu forced to take shelter at rally after rocket launched from Gaza strip

The rocket launch came during a campaign rally.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to take shelter after a rocket launch from the Gaza strip set off warning sirens.

Netanyahu was at campaign event in Ashkelon north of Gaza yesterday evening when what the army called a “projectile” was fired from the strip. 

Israel carried out air strikes against the Gaza Strip overnight in response to the attack. 

The army said the “projectile was fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory and was intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system”.

In response, it said, “planes and helicopters hit several Hamas terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Military posts were among the targets”. 

Israel’s public broadcaster KAN 11 showed images of a security guard informing Netanyahu, who is campaigning for re-election as head of his Likud party, of a “red alert” yesterday evening.

The prime minister waved goodbye before being hustled from the room with his wife Sarah.

Media reports from the country said that he was taken to a shelter once the sirens started. 

No injuries were reported on either side, though a security source in Gaza said damage was reported at a number of Hamas sites.

On September 10, the head of the Likud party had also been evacuated from an election rally, in the southern city of Ashdod, after sirens warned of an attack from Gaza.

Today, Netanyahu is facing off against longtime rival Gideon Saar in a Likud leadership contest that could threaten his leadership.

Last week, two rocket attacks were launched against Israel from Gaza without causing injury, Israel’s army said.

In response, Israel twice bombed Hamas installations in the enclave.

Since 2008, Israel has fought three wars with Hamas and its allies in Gaza, where two million Palestinians live. 

With reporting from AFP

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