Netanyahu Skips AIPAC Speech After Major Rocket Attack in Israel
Benjamin Netanyahu was to meet with President Trump On March 25 and speak to the AIPAC convention. But a major rocket attack in Israel that injured a family of 7 deep inside Israel at Mishmeret caused him to leave immediately after his meeting with the President. He also cancelled other meetings with Congressional leaders and the AIPAC. He’s promised to hit back hard. And he will, guaranteed.
This attack occurred just two weeks before the Israeli election and 10 days after rockets were launched from Gaza toward Tel Aviv. Hamas claimed the rockets fired then were in “error.” Today they are claiming it was the “wind.” Meanwhile the violence continues to rise against Israelis at the border.
🔴🎥 FOOTAGE FROM THE SCENE where a rocket fired from #Gaza this morning hit a residential building in central Israel, north of Tel aviv. Several Israelis were injured.— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) March 25, 2019
🎥Dan Asulin pic.twitter.com/OCkXps9jOe
The Fajr (J80) long range rocket struck the home of a British-Israeli family in Mishmeret outside of Tel Aviv. This is the deepest that Gaza rockets have penetrated into Israel since the rocket attacks in 2014. The rocket was believed to have been fired from the Rafah area of southern Gaza, about 75 miles from Mishmeret.
“There has been a criminal attack on the State of Israel and we will respond forcefully. In a few hours, I will meet with President Trump. I will return to Israel immediately afterward.” Bibi Netanyahu
The family involved raised the Israeli flag after the attack in defiance of the destruction of their home. One woman is in “moderate” condition, the six others, including two babies, are “lightly” injured. All 4 family pets were killed in the direct impact. The family had only 45 seconds to seek shelter.
Maj. Mika Lifshitz, a military spokeswoman, said it was a self-manufactured rocket with a range of 75 miles. She added two armor and infantry brigades were being mobilized to the Gaza front and a limited drafting of reserves was also taking place.
Anticipating a strong Israeli response, Gaza’s Hamas leaders have apparently gone underground. Witnesses reported seeing Hamas evacuating its personnel from government premises. Hamas also announced its Gaza chief, Yehiya Sinwar, had canceled a scheduled public speech. Israel also shut down its main crossings into Gaza and imposed restrictions on fishing off the Gazan coast.
Other countries responded with “condemnation” of the attack:
We unequivocally condemn today’s rocket attack into Israel from Gaza. Our thoughts are with the British-Israeli family whose house in Mishmeret was hit. There can be no justification of any kind for this attack, whose consequences could have been devastating.— David Quarrey (@DavidQuarrey) March 25, 2019
We strongly condemn today’s rockets attack from Gaza that hit a house in Mishmeret, North East of Tel Aviv, injuring seven people including young kids. There can be no justification for such terror attack. Our thoughts are with the wounded. Our solidarity to all Israelis.— Italy in Israel (@ItalyinIsrael) March 25, 2019
Mishmeret is more than 80km from the Gaza Strip, and rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave at that distance is rare. This development comes two weeks before the Israeli election. https://t.co/AGqjDMvmSY via @MiddleEastEye— Megan O'Toole (@megan_otoole) March 25, 2019
Saddened by another rocket attack from Gaza that destroyed a family home in Moshav Mishmeret. I wish those wounded a speedy recovery. Targeting innocent civilians is unacceptable and doesn’t bring peace any closer.— Dutch ambassador to Israel (@GillesBP) March 25, 2019