Gaza rocket sends Netanyahu to shelter

A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip at a southern Israeli city as it hosted a campaign rally by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has prompted him to take shelter before resuming the event, Israeli TV stations report.

The Israeli military confirmed the launch against Ashkelon, which is 12km from the coastal Palestinian enclave, and said the rocket was shot down by an Iron Dome air defence interceptor.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility in Gaza, which is under the control of Hamas Islamists and where a smaller armed faction, Islamic Jihad, exchanged fire with Israel during a two-day surge of violence last month.

Israeli TV stations showed Netanyahu, who is campaigning to keep the helm of the conservative Likud party in an internal election on Thursday, being escorted off a stage by bodyguards. The reports said he was taken to a shelter after sirens sounded.

It was the second such incident after a September appearance by Netanyahu in the nearby town of Ashdod was briefly disrupted by a rocket siren.

Read the article in The Australian (Reuters).