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Israel launches strikes on Gaza Strip following rocket attack that wounded seven

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at the White House, said he would not tolerate aggression against his country.

A police officer inspects the damage to a house hit by a rocket in Mishmeret, central Israel (Ariel Schalit/AP)
A police officer inspects the damage to a house hit by a rocket in Mishmeret, central Israel (Ariel Schalit/AP)

Israel has begun responding “forcefully” to a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip, the country’s prime minister has said.

Speaking at the White House, Benjamin Netanyahu said he will “not tolerate” the rocket strike, which struck a home in central Israel early Monday and wounded seven people.

“As we speak,” he said, “Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression.”

He said Israel will do “whatever we must do” to defend itself.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Susan Walsh/AP)

The military has started striking Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas’ leader says his group would respond if Israel retaliated too forcefully.

Ismail Haniyeh said in a written statement that the Palestinian people “will not surrender” and its militant factions “will deter the enemy if it exceeds the red lines”.

The Israeli military had earlier reinforced its troops along the Gaza border and calling up reserves after a rocket attack on an Israeli home.

Military spokesman major Mika Lifshitz said two armoured and infantry brigades were being mobilised and that there is a limited drafting of reserves under way following the attack, which destroyed a house and left seven people wounded in central Israel.

Seven people were hurt in the blast (AP)

She said the military has concluded that Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers fired the rocket from one of their launching pads in the southern part of the coastal strip, near Rafah.

Maj Lifshitz said it was a self-manufactured rocket with a range of about 75 miles.

The rocket destroyed a residential home in the farming community of Mishmeret, north of the city of Kfar Saba, wounding six members of a family.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said it treated seven people overall, including two women who were moderately wounded.

The others, including two children and an infant, had minor wounds.

“It’s a miracle that nobody got killed,” said Assi Dvilanski, a paramedic who was one of the emergency personnel at the scene.



From Belfast Telegraph