Netanyahu to cut US visit short after 7 injured in rocket attack near Tel Aviv

Netanyahu to cut US visit short after 7 injured in rocket attack near Tel Aviv

A ministry spokesman said the projectile was fired from Gaza.

By Reuters

Published: Mon 25 Mar 2019, 11:11 AM

Last updated: Mon 25 Mar 2019, 6:27 PM

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 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 US," 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 a six-month-old child, 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.

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

"We heard the siren and we didn't think it was anything, but my daughter made us go into the reinforced room," said Castelnovo.

"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.

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