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Rocket Hits Near Tel Aviv, Israel Closes Gaza Border Crossings, Netanyahu to Cut Trip to US.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli authorities claimed that a long-range rocket launched from the Gaza Strip has struck near Tel Aviv in central Israel, wounding seven people in the first such incident since a 2014 war on the Palestinian enclave.

The sounds of air raid sirens woke up the residents of the residential Sharon area and a strong sound of an explosion followed, highlighting the failure of Israel's much-hyped Iron Dome missile system to intercept the rocket.

Police and medics announced that a home was hit and caught fire on Monday morning, and seven people were wounded.

The early morning attack on Mishmeret, an agricultural town North of Tel Aviv, came a day after Israeli military aircraft bombed the besieged enclave ahead of the anniversary of Gaza fence rallies at the weekend.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident.

In response to the rocket attack, the the Tel Aviv regime decided to close Karam Abu Salem crossing, Southeast of the besieged Gaza Strip. Later, Israel announced the closure of Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing too and more tightened restrictions on the fishing activity in Gaza sea.

Report: Hamas Missile Hits Israeli Bus Carrying Army Men, Tel Aviv's Fighters Pound Gaza Again https://t.co/rYnRls2j0Q pic.twitter.com/PMp232bOfU

-- Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) November 13, 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is seeking a fifth term in next month's ballot, was in Washington for the annual AIPAC conference and due to meet US President Donald Trump, but he stated on Monday that he is to cut short his trip to the United States.

"In light of the security events I decided to cut short my visit to the US," Netanyahu said, calling the attack a heinous crime that would draw a strong Israeli response.

He added that he would meet with Trump in the coming hours and then fly back immediately.

IRGC Commander: Whole Israeli-Occupied Territories within Range of Hezbollah's Missiles https://t.co/mrotouZvkB pic.twitter.com/A67WZWw6bm

-- Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) March 17, 2019

Palestinian resistance faction Hamas has recently said Israel has "no choice" but to lift its 12-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip.

"We will continue staging our peaceful demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone while employing all peaceful means of pressuring Israel," the statement read, adding that "the Zionist occupation has no choice but to meet our people's demands for an end to the siege".

Read More: 'Give Israel One of US States': Golan Heights Residents Strongly Condemn Trump's Decision on Occupied Land

Since late March 2018, tensions have been running high near the Gaza fence - which marked the start of a series of rallies demanding the right to return for the Palestinians driven out of their homeland. More than 270 Palestinians have been killed and some 31,000 others wounded in the fresh wave of violence.

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel's "apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force" against civilian protesters in Gaza and called for perpetrators of all violations in the strip to face justice.

The region has been under Israel's all-out siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008. Tel Aviv seven-week-long war in 2014 and two other military operations over the last six years have caused economic losses close to three times the size of Gaza's gross domestic product. The latest onslaught claimed the lives of over 2,200 Palestinians and left over half a million more displaced, with another 11,000 injured in the assault. It also severely damaged more than 20,000 homes, 148 schools, 15 hospitals, and 45 clinics. At least 247 factories and 300 commercial centers were rendered inoperable or totally destroyed in the attack.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Mar 25, 2019
Words:634
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