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Rocket Attack on Center of Israel Prompts IDF Response

Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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25 Mar 2019
Rocket Attack on Center of Israel Prompts IDF Response
IDF combat units were being deployed to the border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Monday afternoon following a rocket attack earlier in the morning that wounded seven people when it struck a private home in Moshav Mishmeret in central Israel. Hamas issued a statement saying the firing of the J-80 long range rocket was a mistake, but IDF Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis told reporters that there would be a response, adding “The launch was carried out by Hamas from one of the group’s launchpads. We see Hamas as responsible for everything that happens in Gaza.”

"I spoke to the IDF Chief of Staff, head of the Shin Bet and head of Intelligence and that he sees this as a criminal act against the State of Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is returning to Israel early from what was supposed to be a four-day trip to the US for meetings with US President Donald Trump and an address to the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington DC.

Some other Israeli officials appeared to cast blame for the crisis on the UN Human Rights Commission, which recently issued a report on the weekly riots along the Gaza border which accused Israel of war crimes for defending its border and barely mentioned the role Hamas and other terrorist groups have played in creating the situation.

Elsewhere, Israel received some diplomatic support from various quarters.

European Union Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret tweeted, "Following with grave concern developments after a family home was destroyed in Moshav Mishmeret in central Israel by a rocket from Gaza. Wishing early recovery to those wounded. Indiscriminate targeting of civilians unacceptable."

Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad leader Ziad Nahaleh issued a statement saying "we warn the enemy against any aggression on the Gaza Strip. Its leaders must understand that we will respond strongly to any aggression.”

Monday’s rocket attack came a day after rare night-time riots on the border ended with several rioters injured Saturday night and Sunday morning. Amidst the riots, the IDF struck two cells who were launching incendiary balloons into Israel from inside the Strip. In related news, two guards at Keziot Prison near Beersheba were stabbed by Hamas inmates Sunday evening, with one being evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in critical condition. Several Hamas inmates were also injured in the fracas and some were still hospitalized Monday morning.

Here is a video of the house hit by Monday morning’s rocket attack

Here is a video giving some commentary on the relations between the Palestinians and the Arab world


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