ISRAEL leader Benjamin Netanyahu had to be evacuated from a rally today as air raid alerts warned of an impending rocket attack.
The drama unfolded just hours after the Prime Minister sent shock waves across the Middle East by announcing plans to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank if he’s re-elected.
Bodyguards rushed Netanyahu off the stage at an election campaign rally in Ashdod in southern Israel as air raid alerts sounded to warn of a rocket attack from Gaza.
This came after the hard-line PM earlier today vowed to annex the heart of the West Bank if he wins re-election next week.
That move could inflame the Middle East and extinguish any remaining Palestinian hope of establishing a separate state.
Arab leaders angrily condemned Netanyahu’s remarks.
And a UN spokesman warned the step would be “devastating” to the prospects for a two-state solution.
The Israeli military said two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Ashdod, where the campaign event was held.
The city of Ashkelon, just to the south was also attacked.
But the missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
As the alerts went off, Netanyahu told the crowd “exit quietly,” before his security detail hustled him away, footage from the event showed.
Channel 13 television, which also broadcast the incident, said he was taken to a shelter.
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Benny Gantz, a former Israeli armed forces chief and head of the centrist Blue and White party that is Likud’s strongest challenger, seized on the rocket strike to attack his opponent.
Mr Gantz, pledging that if he becomes prime minister he will “not tolerate even one rocket”, said: “Big words are replaced with zero action.”
Israel seized Gaza in a 1967 war and pulled out its settlers and troops in 2005.
It maintains a naval blockade of the enclave and along with Egypt imposes tight restrictions at land borders, citing security concerns.
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