independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Two rockets fired into Israel from Egypt

TWO rockets fired from Egypt's Sinai peninsula struck Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat today, causing no casualties or damage, the Israeli military said.

The incident was likely to fuel Israeli concern about lawlessness in neighbouring Sinai, where Islamist militants have stepped up their activities since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's downfall in 2011.

 

An Israeli military spokeswoman said two rockets were launched from Sinai and that both hit open areas. Israeli television showed the casing of the one of the rockets lying in sand at a construction site in Eilat.

 

Israel deployed an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery in Eilat some two weeks ago, a period coinciding with the Jewish Passover holiday when the city at the tip of Gulf of Aqaba is packed with vacationers.

 

But on Wednesday, the system did not intercept the incoming missiles "for operational reasons", the spokeswoman said, without elaborating. The attack was carried out a day after Israel celebrated its 65th anniversary.

 

In Sinai, Egyptian security forces began a search of the border area to investigate the Israeli claims.

 

"There is not yet any evidence indicating that these rockets were fired from Egypt," an Egyptian security source said.

 

"Contact has been made with all the security points along the border and they confirmed that they did not monitor any unusual activity in the area and did not hear the sound of any rocket launches from Sinai."

 

Rockets last struck Eilat in November, causing no injuries or damage.

 

Israel's Army Radio reported on Wednesday that a rocket had also hit the nearby Jordanian city of Aqaba, but a spokesman for the Jordanian Civil Defence denied the suggestion.

Reuters

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