Netanyahu To Cut U.S. Trip Short After Rocket Attack From Gaza
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And some other news this morning. A rocket from Gaza has struck a home in central Israel this morning wounding at least seven Israelis. This is raising the prospect of more violence just two weeks before Israel holds elections. NPR's Daniel Estrin reports from Jerusalem.
DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: The rocket hit a home in an Israeli village northeast of Tel Aviv.
(SOUNDBITE OF RESCUE CREWS SORTING THROUGH RUBBLE)
ESTRIN: Police footage shows rescue crews picking through the rubble. Paramedic Assi Dvilanski.
ASSI DVILANSKI: The house is fully destroyed. You know, the roof is off.
ESTRIN: Emergency services say a 60-year-old woman suffered moderate burn and shrapnel wounds, and the others, including an infant, were lightly wounded. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington and meeting President Trump at the White House today. He was supposed to address the pro-Israel group AIPAC and have dinner with Trump tomorrow. But now he says he's cutting his trip short to direct Israel's response to the attack.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: (Foreign language spoken).
ESTRIN: He promised to respond forcefully. The Israeli army says it's mobilizing troops and calling up a limited number of reservists. Israel says Hamas fired the rocket. Hamas hasn't commented. The militant Islamic Jihad said if Israel attacks Gaza, it will strike back. It's a sensitive time, just a couple weeks before Israeli elections. Netanyahu's main political rival is accusing him of a failed security policy. And tensions have been rising on the Gaza border. Two weeks ago, Israel said Hamas unintentionally fired rockets toward Tel Aviv and Israel responded with airstrikes. And Israel says Palestinians have been flying balloons with explosives toward Israel. This weekend, major Palestinian demonstrations are planned at the Israeli border fence marking one year of protests that have elicited a deadly response from Israel. Daniel Estrin, NPR News, Jerusalem. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.