Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was rushed off the stage of an election campaign rally in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon after rocket sirens warned of an incoming threat from Gaza, according to reports from Haaretz and Reuters.
Netanyahu was speaking at a Likud event ahead of a general election in Israel scheduled for March.
Some video of the occurrence was captured and shared via Twitter and linked by Haaretz‘s report:
נתניהו מורד מהבמה לצלילי הג’ינגל של הליכוד בעקבות צבע אדום. pic.twitter.com/x0AST3P1E5
— המצליף 🔥Ὠ (@ShaiCohen13) December 25, 2019
The Iron Dome defense system intercepted the above-mentioned rocket fired from Gaza, stated the The Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 25, 2019
Netanyahu and his wife Sara, who was also in attendance, were escorted to a shelter nearby; the prime minister later returned to the stage and continued his address.
“This isn’t an attack on me or on Ashkelon, it’s not that. These are recurring attacks on our communities, and they think that we won’t hurt them or that we’ll break down,” he added.
“Whoever fired rockets now, better pack his belongings,” Netanyahu remarked.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility in Gaza, which is under the control of Hamas Islamists and where a smaller armed faction, Islamic Jihad, exchanged fire with Israel during a two-day surge of violence last month.
““He is no longer around,” said Netanyahu after he returned to the stage, referring to Islamic Jihad terrorist Baha Abu Al-Atta, who was killed by Israeli forces in November.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.