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No casualties after Gaza fires rocket amid Netanyahu election rally, Israel says

Gaza rocket sends Netanyahu to shelter during campaign rally
WATCH: A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip at a southern Israeli city on Wednesday as it hosted a campaign rally by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prompted him to take shelter briefly before resuming the event.

 Israel said a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into its southern territory Wednesday, forcing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be hustled from a stage during an election rally in the city of Ashkelon.

The Israeli military said its air defence system, known as Iron Dome, intercepted the rocket. There were no reports of casualties.

Israel’s Haaretz daily published a video on its website showing Netanyahu being taken to a shelter as he was campaigning hours before the primaries of his Likud party.

Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, Nov. 13, 2019.
Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, Nov. 13, 2019. Hatem Moussa / The Associated Press
Israel-Gaza violence spirals after Israel kills Islamic Jihad top commander
Israel-Gaza violence spirals after Israel kills Islamic Jihad top commander

Netanyahu says he knows how to protect Israel, but opponents accuse him of being soft on handling threats from Gaza.

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A similar incident happened in September when Netanyahu was in the nearby city of Ashdod. He was campaigning then for the second general Israeli election of the year.

That was believed to have triggered Israel’s targeted killing of a senior commander in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group in November. Israel and Gaza militants had their worst round of fighting in months as a result.

READ MORE: Israel allows holiday travel permits for Gaza Christians to visit Jerusalem, West Bank

No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack. Such sporadic launches of rockets and ensuing Israeli airstrikes have happened frequently despite an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that ended two days of fighting in November.

Hamas, the larger Islamic movement controlling Gaza, seeks “understandings” with Israel to alleviate Gaza’s economic and humanitarian crises.

The militant group stayed on the sidelines during the November flare-up.