Netanyahu's US Visit Just Got Shorter

He'll meet Trump, then skip AIPAC and return home after projectile from Gaza strikes home
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2019 6:08 AM CDT
Updated Mar 25, 2019 4:32 PM CDT
Netanyahu to Shorten US Visit After Rocket Attack
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.   (Amir Cohen/Pool via AP)

A rocket attack will shorten Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the US. The Israeli prime minister arrived in the US on Sunday and met with President Trump as planned on Monday in the White House. But Netanyahu will skip a planned address to AIPAC and immediately return home instead of staying for another two days, reports Reuters. The change comes after the Israeli military said a rocket fired from Gaza struck a home near Tel Aviv and wounded seven people. It is the furthest a Palestinian rocket has traveled into Israel since strife in 2014, notes the BBC. Israeli forces blamed Hamas and responded Monday by striking targets across the Gaza Strip, including the offices of Hamas' supreme leader, the AP reports.

The strike came less than two weeks after a pair of rockets were launched toward Tel Aviv, the first in five years. Nobody was injured, and both Israel and Hamas later said those rockets appeared to have been fired by mistake. In response to the latest strike, Netanyahu said from his meeting with Trump that "Israel will not tolerate this. I will not tolerate this. Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression. We will do whatever we must do to defend our people and defend our state." Late Monday, Hamas announced that Egyptian mediators had brokered a cease-fire, but renewed rocket fire could later be heard in Gaza. Also Monday, Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a massive shift that reverses more than 50 years of US policy in the Middle East. (More on that here, and reactions including from the UN here.)

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