Rocket fired from Gaza hits house in Israel, wounding six people

Arturo Kim
March 25, 2019

An early morning rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a house in central Israel on Monday, wounding seven people and prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short a trip to Washington.

The rocket came down at 05:20 local time (03:20 GMT) on Monday in an area north of the city of Tel Aviv.

The attack also comes 10 days after rockets were fired towards Tel Aviv.

No damage or injuries were caused, but Israel responded to that and further rocket fire by hitting what it said were around 100 Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip. "Israel will bear consequences for its aggression that will be felt by soldiers and citizens", the terror group said in an official statement just hours before the militants in Gaza launched a long-range rocket at the Sharon region, northeast of Tel Aviv, for the first time since 2014 Operation Protective Edge.

Netanyahu, who had to weigh his duty as commander-in-chief against his opportunity to speak directly to American Jewry, will return to Israel after his scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump.

The house hit was located in the community of Mishmeret, police said.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said it was treating the occupants of a home in Mishmeret, including an infant, for wounds.

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Israel says the demonstrations are orchestrated by Hamas, which vocally supports them, sending free buses to the border and providing food and internet to participants - as well as money for those injured in them - in order to provide a cover for the organization's nefarious activities along the security fence, including infiltration attempts, the planting of explosives and attacks on Israeli soldiers.

Three Palestinians were injured in the initial strike, according to reports, and one was said injured in the second strike.

Mishmeret is more than 80 kilometres from the Gaza Strip and rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave at that distance is rare.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility to Monday's incident. The territory is home to other armed groups, including Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed organisation that also has a formidable rocket arsenal.

The reports were a sign that Israel was seeking to calm tensions.

Israeli aircraft targeted Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Sunday after Palestinians there threw explosive devices at the border fence during "riots", the army said. The military refused to comment on the reports at the time.

An informal truce between Hamas and Israel had led to relative calm along the border of the blockaded strip, but recent weeks have seen another uptick in violence.

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