‘Start packing your bags!’ Netanyahu hints at targeted assassination after rocket siren spoils his campaign speech

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Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to seek shelter after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip briefly interrupted the embattled Israeli Prime Minister’s campaign speech in the southern city of Ashkelon.

Videos broadcast by Israeli TV stations showed Netanyahu being rushed off a stage by bodyguards, and reportedly escorted to a shelter.

In a thinly veiled threat after his return onstage, Netanyahu remembered an Islamic Jihad commander, Baha Abu Al-Atta, saying he was “no longer around,” following a targeted assassination by Israeli forces last month.

Whoever tried to make an impression just now should pack his bags.

The Israeli military said an Iron Dome air defense unit intercepted a rocket, allegedly fired towards Ashkelon from Gaza. There was no admission of responsibility, but Tel Aviv usually holds Hamas accountable for anything that takes place in the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

Netanyahu was holding a campaign event in Ashkelon to solidify his rule of the Likud party ahead of the general election taking place in Israel for a third time in less than a year, after he and his rival Benny Gantz both failed to secure majorities or form a coalition.