Gaza-based terrorists fired a rocket at the Israeli city of Beersheba on Election Day, shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had made a campaign stop.
While the rocket landed in an open area and caused no damage or injuries, it marked the second time in recent years that terrorists had targeted Israel’s south during campaign rallies. Netanyahu was twice whisked off stage and forced to take shelter during campaign events in the 2019 election.
The Israeli Air Force targeted a Hamas rocket factory and military outpost in Gaza in response to the incident. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said: “The Hamas terrorist organisation bears responsibility for what happens inside and outside of the Gaza Strip, and will bear the consequences of terrorist acts against Israeli citizens”.
The rocket fire, which took place three hours before polls closed on Tuesday, came days after the Prime Minister cancelled a scheduled campaign appearance at an event in southern Israel, after Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad released a threatening video aimed at him.
Terror attacks emanating from Gaza have decreased over the last year during the pandemic, and particularly so following the agreement of a new ceasefire by Hamas and Israel in August 2020.
Two Palestinians armed with knives were arrested by the IDF last week having crossed the border from Gaza into Israel and several incendiary devices were also found in southern Israel near the Gaza border which were likely sent to Israel via balloon and kites – a tactic of terrorists in recent years seeking to cause damaging fires in Israel’s semi-arid southern landscape.