Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was rushed off the stage mid-speech when the Red Alert sirens sounded a warning that rockets were incoming to Ashdod during the leader’s campaign event in that city on Tuesday.
Israeli planes struck in Gaza shortly after, hitting 15 targets, including a weapons manufacturing facility, a naval compound and tunnels belonging to the terror group Hamas, the IDF said.
The rockets fired from Gaza towards Ashkelon and Ashdod were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Though rocket fire at cities outside the Gaza periphery is rare, these attacks raised concern that terror groups possibly possess more accurate weapons now.
Of course Netanyahu’s evacuation gave fodder to his election rivals who slammed the government’s failure to deal with the frequent rocket attacks stemming from Gaza.
“A red alert this evening in Ashdod while Netanyahu is on stage is a red flag for the citizens of Israel. Netanyahu is done and can leave the stage,” Yair Lapid, co-leader of the Blue and White party, said.
Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Liberman said he was also in Ashdod for a campaign event when the sirens sounded.
“Today’s event proves that Netanyahu’s policy, which is an effective surrender to terror, has gone bankrupt,” he said.
The city of Ashkelon opened its public bomb shelters after the sirens went off as a precautionary measure in case rocket attacks persisted.