Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was evacuated from stage during an election rally in Ashdod, southern Israel, on Tuesday after rocket sirens were heard.
As was forced to stop the event, he told the audience to keep calm and "quietly, quietly leave the area". According to local media reports, Netanyahu was taken to a sheltered area and was safe.
#BREAKING: Netanyahu being evecuated from stage during an election rally in Ashdod, after sirens were heard; 5 rockets launched, no injuries reported pic.twitter.com/0S4DgKjd6m— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) September 10, 2019
#BREAKING Footage of #Israel PM Netanyahu taken away during the rocket alert in Ashdod pic.twitter.com/tlaLRdUBAf— Guy Elster (@guyelster) September 10, 2019
Minutes later he returned to the stage to continue his address.
According to the IDF, two rockets had been fired from Gaza towards the Israeli port cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod; both were destroyed by the Iron Dome air defence system.
Nearly half a million Israelis came under rocket fire moments ago when 2 rockets were fired from #Gaza toward the Israeli port cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) September 10, 2019
Thankfully, both rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome Aeriel Defense System.
The incident, which took place just a week before the Israeli elections, followed Netanyahu's announcement that he intended to annex large parts of the West Bank if he is re-elected next week. The statement has already sparked condemnation from the Arab League, which described his move as a "violation of international law and UN resolutions".