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Rocket attack after Netanyahu annexation plans
Bodyguards rushed Israel's prime minister out of an election rally Tuesday (September 10) night after rockets fired from the Gaza strip triggered warning sirens in two cities. The Israeli military said the rockets were intercepted and Israel retaliated on Wednesday (September 11) with strikes of its own. There's been no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday's rocket attack - but it came shortly after Prime Minister Netanyahu announced plans to annex part of the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu vowed to apply sovereignty on the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea if he wins next week's closely contested election. Around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israeli settlers are thought to be living in the area. A senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization said it showed signs of an ethnic cleansing agenda. While Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat called the proposal a war crime: (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR SAEB EREKAT, SAYING: "Mr. Netanyahu and those who help or aid Mr. Netanyahu in such a vision of annexing Jerusalem, annexing Hebron, annexing the Jordan valley, the Jordan river, the Dead Sea and then keeping Palestinians in their small towns and villages as prisoners without any freedom - that is a war crime. The international community must stand tall now all, to say a big no and to stop treating Israel as a country above the laws of man." Netanyahu said the step could be taken immediately after the election next week. He also reaffirmed his desire to annex all settlements Israel has established in the West Bank. It's a move he's said would require maximum coordination with the United States. The U.S. is expected to release its long-delayed Middle East peace plan in the coming weeks. U.S. President Trump's self-proclaimed 'deal of the century' is aimed at resolving the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A White House official said there's been no change to U.S. policy is response to Netanyahu's speech.