Rocket fired from Gaza hits house north of Tel Aviv
A rocket fired from Gaza hit a home in central Israel early Monday morning, setting the building on fire and injuring those inside, according to the Israeli military and police.
Israel’s military has said Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group was behind the rocket fire. The rocket landed in the village of Mishmeret about 25 kilometers (about 15 miles) north of Tel Aviv, making this the furthest distance a rocket has been fired into Israel since the 2014 war fought between Israel and Hamas.
Seven people were wounded in the incident, including a woman in her sixties who suffered blast injuries, minor burns and shrapnel wounds. A 12-year old girl and two infants also received shrapnel wounds, according to Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency response team, in a statement.
“This is a complex incident that miraculously has concluded with only light to moderate injuries,” said MDA Director General Eli Bin, who was at the scene, according to the statement.
The rocket had a range of 75 miles and was manufactured inside Gaza by Hamas, said Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokeswoman Mika Lipshitz. She would not comment on whether the rocket was fired intentionally or unintentionally.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for this rocket.
Israel has closed the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings between Israel and Gaza. It has also reduced the size of the fishing area in which Gazan fishermen are permitted to sail.
The Monday incident comes less than two weeks after two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv, the first time rockets had been fired at central Israel in almost five years. The IDF assessment was that the rockets — which caused no damage — were accidentally launched by low-level Hamas operatives, local media reported.
Israel responded to that attack with air strikes on about 100 militant targets in Gaza, including an underground rocket factory, a training facility and a logistics headquarters.
The firing of this latest rocket coincides with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the United States, during which he will meet President Donald Trump.
Netanyahu announced that he would cut his trip short due to the incident.
“In a few hours, I will meet with President Trump, and immediately after that, I will return home to manage our actions closely,” Netanyahu said Monday.