Netanyahu emergency evacuated from rally

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, campaigning for his party’s primary, was evacuated Wednesday evening from an election rally in Ashkelon, southern Israel, following reports of imminent rocket fire from the Strip from Gaza.
D after a video broadcast by the public television channel Kan 11, a security guard approached Netanyahu and formless a “red alert”. The Prime Minister then salutes the assembly, made up of a hundred voters who are members of Likoud, before being evacuated with his wife Sara.

“A projectile was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory and was intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system,” the army said in a short statement, adding that sirens sounded notably in the city of ‘Ashkelon, where the Netanyahu rally was held.

In September, the head of the Likud, then on the campaign trail for the legislative elections, had already been evacuated from a rally in the city of Ashdod, when sirens had announced rocket fire.

Thursday, the members of Likoud are called to elect their new leader, as part of a primary demanded by the main rival of the Prime Minister, Gideon Saar, determined to take his place.

Israel will hold its third election on March 2 in less than a year in hopes of ending the worst political crisis in its history, with party leaders leading the way – Likud and rival Blue-White – n unable to agree on the formation of a coalition government.

On December 19 and 20, two rocket hits were fired from Gaza toward Israel, leaving no casualties, the army said.

In response, the Israeli air force bombed twice installations of Hamas which directs the Palestinian enclave. Israel holds the Islamist movement responsible for all rocket fire from its territory, even though the Hebrew state also targets other Palestinian armed movements there.

Since 2008, Israel has waged three wars against Hamas and allied armed groups in Gaza, where two million Palestinians live in conflict, poverty and an Israeli blockade imposed for more than 10 years.

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