Jihadists claim Sinai rocket fire on Israel’s Eilat resort



Agence France Presse

Published — Wednesday 17 April 2013

Last update 18 April 2013 7:32 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

JERUSALEM: At least two Grad rockets fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula exploded in the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat on Wednesday, causing no casualties, in an attack claimed by a jihadist group.
It was the first rocket attack on the southern resort city in eight months, with the Israeli army saying they were fired from the Egyptian Sinai, although there was no immediate confirmation from Cairo where a senior military official said troops were “investigating” the incident.
As news of the rocket fire emerged, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who is in London for the funeral of Britain’s Margaret Thatcher — held a telephone consultation with the security establishment on “how to react,” his office said.
Several hours later, a group called the Mujahedeen Shoura Council posted a statement online saying its militants had “managed to target occupied Eilat with two Grad rockets” without saying where they were fired from.
The attack took place as Palestinians were marking Prisoners’ Day in solidarity with the thousands of inmates held by Israel, with the group saying the rockets were a “response to the continued suffering of the downtrodden prisoners in Israeli jails.”
The rockets struck shortly after 9 a.m. (0600 GMT), both landing inside the city but without causing injuries, Israeli police said.
“We’ve found two explosion sites in the city, we’ve also closed off the airport as a precaution,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, later saying that Eilat’s tiny international airport had been reopened.
One rocket hit a construction site in the Shahamon neighborhood, while the second struck an open area close to the Jordan border, just east of the main hotel strip, local residents said.
At the start of April, fears of an imminent rocket attack from Sinai prompted the military to move a battery of Israel’s vaunted Iron Dome anti-missile system to the Eilat area, a defense official confirmed on Wednesday.
“There were warnings of possible firings, and they decided to shift the system to there,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
But an Israeli security source said the system did not engage to intercept the rockets.
“Due to operational circumstances, the battery located in the area did not intercept the incoming rockets,” the source said, without elaborating.
Israeli media reports also said two rockets had landed in the nearby Jordanian resort of Aqaba, in reports denied by Amman.
“All military and security services in Aqaba have confirmed that nothing happened in Aqaba. It was only on the other side,” Amer Sartawi, spokesman for Jordan’s Public Security Department, told AFP.
At least two Aqaba residents contacted by AFP said they were unaware of any rockets landing in the city.
Eilat lies on the northernmost point of the Gulf of Aqaba, a narrow stretch of water bordered on one side by the Sinai and the other by Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Last April, a rocket fired from Sinai hit Eilat but caused no casualties, with police finding another unexploded rocket near the city days later.
In August, another two rockets rocked Eilat, again injuring no-one.
That attack was claimed by another Salafist group called Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis which said it had fired two Grad rockets at the city.
Since the collapse of the regime of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, Israel’s border with Sinai has seen multiple security incidents, with militants using the lawless peninsula to stage attacks on the Jewish state.
The most serious incident was in August 2011, when gunmen infiltrated southern Israel and staged a series of ambushes that killed eight Israelis.
Over the past few years, there has been intermittent rocket fire on Eilat from Sinai.
So far, no-one has been injured but in August 2010, one landed in Aqaba, killing a taxi driver.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

ABHA: Gov. Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz, Asir region, ordered the formation of a working team in Bisha to address the status of the battered woman who recently shared her suffering on social networking sites.Mohammed bin Sabrah will head the team,...
MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman launched a series of charity and developmental projects during his recent visit to Khaibar Province at costs exceeding SR100 million.They included municipal projects at Khaibar, Al-Salsah and Al-Ashash M...
MADINAH: Pilgrims spend the most beautiful moments in the Prophet’s Mosque, where they pray in Riyazul Jannah (garden from the gardens of paradise) and get to greet the Prophet, peace be upon him, said the Omani pilgrim, Ahmed Nasser. “Such deeds giv...
MADINAH: A member of the Senior Scholars Council, Dr. Abdullah Al-Manieh, has called for the establishment of women’s departments at the Islamic University in Madinah in line with other universities in the Kingdom.“The Muslim woman has had her own st...
JEDDAH: The euphoria over the sudden resumption of call facility on WhatsApp in the Kingdom on Saturday was short-lived as the service was not widely available the following day. A large number of users of the popular messaging service, barring a few...
JEDDAH: Work on developing and modernizing the Kingdom’s 27 airports is ongoing and is expected to be completed within the next five years, according to Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA).“Our goal is tha...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea are set to widen cooperation in the health care sector following a joint road show which underlined potential areas of cooperation and showcased world-class health facilities of that country. The event, titled “Ko...
RIYADH: The Saudi Green Building Forum (SBGF) believe that about fifty percent of the ongoing eco-friendly green building projects across the Kingdom are facing delays for not fulfilling criteria.Faisal Alfadl, secretary-general of the forum, on Satu...
AL-UQAIR: The low-quality of education in the Kingdom arises from many factors. Included among these are the complexity of the system itself, unclear educational vision, non-professional education development programs, and instability due to changing...
JEDDAH: Security authorities in Jeddah called a citizen and his wife for interrogating with them on the charges of beating their Eritrean housemaid.Makkah Police media spokesman, Col. Dr. Atti bin Attiah Al-Quraishi, said: “The Safety Center of Jedda...
AL-UQAIR: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) has deposited SR600 million with local banks for the Al-Uqair Development Company in Al-Ahsa, SCTNH President Prince Sultan bin Salman has said.“Saudi citizens have some equitie...
JEDDAH: A number of preachers have been arrested for using sermons to promote political ideologies, said Fahad Sulaiman Al-Khalifa of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.He said the issue was not widespread, and the ministry reiterated that the sermon sh...
JEDDAH: A Saudi military analyst and retired brigadier, Ibrahim Al-Marie, has called for the compulsory drafting of young Saudis into the military.This is, he said, not only because the Kingdom is facing regional threats, but because of its benefits...
RIYADH: Advertisement campaigns for fake TOFEL and ILET certificates are being monitored on social media websites in an effort to halt this illegal practice. The certificates originate from Jordan and can be obtained by clients for a sum of SR2,000,...
JEDDAH: A group of young men has come up with a novel home cinema project.The project involves providing a cinema hall show for lovers of the entertainment medium by providing projector screens, sound systems and lighting devices with suitable and co...

Stay Connected

Facebook