Netanyahu escorted out of restaurant in Beer Sheba as Gaza rocket falls near city

The incident triggered comments from Netanyahu’s political opponents, apparently hoping to sway voters at the 11th hour.

By World Israel News Staff

On election day Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was escorted out of a restaurant in the southern city of Beersheba as a rocket from Gaza fell nearby.

The rocket landed in an open area, an IDF spokesperson confirmed. There were no casualties.

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White party, interrupted their campaign activities and instead attended security meetings.

A spokesperson for Netanyahu’s Likud party said he had already left the city when the rocket landed. A party member who was present at the campaign event, however, said the prime minister was still there when it happened.

The incident triggered comments from Netanyahu’s political opponents, who mocked the prime minister for what they claim is his weak response to the Gaza-based Hamas terror group, apparently hoping to sway voters at the 11th hour.

“Bibi is weak in front of Hamas. I wish Netanyahu had fought Hamas like he fought me. Hamas is laughing at Netanyahu’s weakness. They shot a Grad rocket near Beersheba while Bibi was visiting there,” said Yamina party head and former defense minister Naftali Bennett, The Jerusalem Post reported.

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“Bibi is submissive to Hamas,” he said. “Bibi is submissive to the Bedouin gangs in the Negev. Bibi is submissive to the justice system. A strong right is only Yamina with the letter ‘bet’ [the letter on Yamina’s ballot slip].”

New Hope party leader Gideon Saar said Netanyahu “has given Hamas vaccines even without demanding a sign of life from our illegally held civilians in Gaza and without receiving the bodies of our martyrs who fell in Operation Protective Edge,” the Post reported. “Is it a wonder that they make fun of him and us?”

Hamas has been holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul since they were killed in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge.

The terror group also holds captive two mentally ill Israeli civilians who crossed into Gaza on their own in 2014 and 2015 respectively, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, and has refused to allow a visit from the Red Cross.