Gaza Rocket Hits Near Beersheva After Netanyahu Campaign Stop

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Leumit Health Care Services vaccination facility in Yerushalayim. (Alex Kolomoisky/Pool via AP, File)

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near Beersheva on Tuesday, shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ departed an Election Day stop in the city, according to media reports.

There were conflicting reports concerning Netanyahu’s whereabouts when the rocket struck, whether he was still in the city at the time. The Likud party said he was on his way out of Beersheva when the incident occurred.

Several candidates campaigned in Beersheva and other parts of the northern Negev during the day.

B’chasdei shamayim, the rocket apparently landed in an open area without causing damage or injuries. No air raid alarms sounded.

Blue and White leader and Defense Minister Benny Gantz interrupted his election day activities for a security consultation following the rocket attack near Beersheva.

The prime minister’s political opponents sought some last-minute advantage from the incident.

“Bibi is weak in front of Hamas,” said former defense minister Naftali Bennett. “I wish Netanyahu had fought Hamas like he fought me. Hamas is laughing at Netanyahu’s weakness. They shot a Grad rocket near Beersheva while Bibi was visiting there.

“Bibi is submissive to Hamas,” he said. “Bibi is submissive to the Bedouin gangs in the Negev. Bibi is submissive to the justice system. A strong right is only Yamina with the letter Bet [the letter on Yamina’s ballot slip].”

New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar recalled promises by Netanyahu in 2009 to neutralize Hamas. “Now he has given Hamas vaccines even without demanding for a sign of life from our illegally held civilians in Gaza and without receiving the bodies of our martyrs who fell in Operation Protective Edge. Is it a wonder that they make fun of him and us?”