Netanyahu vows to retaliate with force after Gaza rocket attack

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The European Union Times

 

 

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Israel will respond with force to a rocket attack that hit a residential area north of Tel Aviv, injuring 7 people, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said after talking to top military brass.

The Jewish state will “respond forcefully” against Hamas after a rocket was launched from inside Gaza into Israel, Netanyahu said, according to local media. Shortly after the attack, he talked to the IDF chief of staff, as well as the head of Intelligence, who also saw it “as a criminal act against the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu said he will cut short his trip to the United States after the incident.

The projectile, fired early in the morning on Monday, hit a house in the residential Sharon area, northeast of Tel Aviv, leaving seven people wounded, including two infants who suffered light injuries, the emergency services reported.

Air-raid sirens sounded shortly before an explosion was heard in the area. The house caught fire and partially collapsed, but firefighters managed to quickly extinguish the flames as rescuers searched the rubble for survivors.

Top Israeli officials pinned the blame on Hamas, though no Palestinian group has claimed credit for the attack.

Nevertheless, senior Hamas figures have gone into hiding in anticipation of an Israeli response, according to Haaretz.

It is unclear what the Israeli response will be. Earlier in March, the IDF scrambled combat aircraft to bomb Gaza after two rockets reportedly fired from there targeted Tel Aviv. Explosions were reported in Khan Younis, on the south side of Gaza. The military said it was striking “terrorist targets.”

As the day progressed, two infantry brigades moved closer to the Gaza border, while some reserve units were mobilized, according to Israeli Army Radio.

The attack on Monday and Netanyahu’s remarks come two weeks ahead of a parliamentary election scheduled for April 9. The beleaguered prime minister faces potential indictment and one of the toughest elections in his political life.

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