Netanyahu cuts short US trip to respond ‘with force’ to Israel rocket attack

Seven people have been injured following a Gaza rocket hitting a house in central Israel, close to Tel Aviv. Israeli General Benny Gantz has called on Mr Netanyahu to return to Israel to deal with the security situation, where there has been no immediate claim of responsibility. The attack on the farming town of Mishmeret came at a time of tension shortly before the anniversary of Gaza border protests at the weekend.

This was a criminal attack on Israel and we will respond forcefully

Netanyahu

Mr Netanyahu arrived in Washington on Sunday for a planned four-day visit ahead of an April 9 Israeli election, but has now said he would fly home immediately after meeting President Donald Trump at the White House.

Mr Netanyahu said: “A few minutes ago I finished a briefing and consultation with the chief of staff, the head of the Shin Bet and the national security adviser.

“This was a criminal attack on Israel and we will respond forcefully.”

According to an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, the rocket was fired from Gaza, which is an area controlled by the militant Hamas group.

As a result the PM has shortened his visit to the US and return after his meeting with President Donald Trump.

Mr Gantz said: “Netanyahu has lost his grip on security and Israeli citizens are again facing sirens and a direct hit on a house, this time in the Sharon region.

“This is bankruptcy when it comes to security, and Netanyahu needs to pack up immediately and go back to Israel to deal with this serious escalation.”

The Prime Minister was supposed to be addressing 18,000 people at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual policy conference in Washington on Tuesday morning and was then due to attend a dinner in the White House.

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