Officials from the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist organization claim that the rocket fired on central Israel early Monday morning was accidentally launched, denying the incident was a deliberate attack on Israel.
Hamas leaders told Egypt, which has often served as a mediator for talks between Israel and the terror group, that the rocket fired from Gaza which struck a home in the Sharon region of central Israel had been launched by accident.
Arab media outlets have reported that Hamas promised Egypt it would investigate the incident.
The Islamic Jihad terrorist organization warned Israel not to respond to the rocket fire.
“We warn Israel against conducting any aggressive operations against the Gaza Strip,” the group said in a statement. “The Israeli leadership should know that we will respond with force to any attack.”
The rocket fired Monday morning landed in the Sharon region in central Israel some 50 miles from the Gaza Strip, hitting a home in the Moshav Mishmeret. A 60-year-old woman was wounded by shrapnel and suffering burns from the rocket’s explosion, leaving her in moderate condition. A 30-year-old woman is also said to be in moderate condition after suffering shrapnel wounds. Five others are listed in light condition.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Monday that he would be returning home early to Israel from Washington, cancelling a planned address at this year’s AIPAC conference.
In a statement released from Washington Monday morning, Netanyahu vowed to “respond forcefully” to the rocket fire.
"Several minutes ago I concluded a telephone update and consultation with the Chief-of-Staff, the head of the ISA Director and the head of the NSC. There has been a criminal attack on the State of Israel and we will respond forcefully. In light of the security events I have decided to cut short my visit to the US. In a few hours I will meet with President Trump; I will return to Israel immediately afterwards in order to manage our actions from close at hand."