Britons hurt in rocket attack from Gaza on Israeli home

Members of a British-Israeli family in the Middle East have been injured after a rocket was apparently fired from the Gaza Strip amid continuing violence between the Palestinian territory and Israel.

Up to seven people including children are reported to have been wounded after the strike on the home in the farming community of Mishmeret, around 50 miles north west of Jerusalem, and approximately 62 miles north of Gaza.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was “appalled” by what he described as a “terrorist attack” overnight, while Britain’s ambassador to Israel said there was “no justification” for the strike.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he was cutting short a three-day diplomatic visit to meet US President Donald Trump at the White House following the attack, prompting Israel’s military to launch its own strikes on Gaza, which is controlled by the militant Islamic group Hamas.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Hunt said: “Appalled by terrorist attack from Gaza against civilians, including British-Israeli dual nationals. My thoughts are with all those affected. Completely UNACCEPTABLE actions by militant groups.”

A Foreign Office (FCO) spokesman said they were unable to provide any further information about the injuries sustained by the family, nor comment on claims children were among those hurt.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said it was treating seven people, including two women who were moderately wounded.

The others, including two children and an infant, had minor wounds.

David Quarrey, the British ambassador to Israel, said in a statement: “We unequivocally condemn today’s rocket attack into Israel from Gaza.

Police officers inspect the damage to a house hit by a rocket in Mishmeret, central Israel
Police officers inspect the damage to a house hit by a rocket in Mishmeret, central Israel

“Our thoughts are with the British-Israeli family whose house in Mishmeret was hit.

“There can be no justification of any kind for this attack, whose consequences could have been devastating.”

Alistair Burt, minister of state for the Middle East, said: “I condemn the rocket attack from Gaza, which destroyed a family home in Mishmeret with innocent civilians inside.

“Shocked to hear that dual British-Israeli citizens are among those injured.

“Such acts are unacceptable and part of a hopeless cycle of violence and suffering.”

US vice president Mike Pence said the rocket attack “proves that Hamas is not a partner for peace”.

The rocket was the second launched towards central Israel in recent weeks.

The Israeli military quickly mobilised troops and called up reserves in response to the strike.

It comes as bloodshed on the border between Israel and Gaza continues, despite hopes towards the end of last year that talks between the two would see a reduction in violence.