IS claims rocket fire at Israel resort from Egypt

Mai Yaghi – February 9, 2017

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – The Islamic State group said Thursday that it fired rockets at the Israeli resort of Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula in a rare attack on the Jewish state from Egyptian territory.

The Israeli army said there were no casualties from Wednesday evening’s rocket fire — three of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system and a fourth fell short of the town.

A few hours later, two Palestinians were killed elsewhere in the Sinai. The Islamist Hamas movement which rules Gaza said it was an Israeli air strike. The Israeli army denied carrying out any such action.

“Thanks to God alone, a military platoon fired several Grad rockets yesterday” towards Eilat, the jihadists’ Egyptian affiliate said in a statement circulated on social media.

It was the first time since 2015 that rockets had been fired at Israel from Egypt, said Ely Karmon, senior research scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

Egypt is one of just two Arab countries that have signed a peace treaty with the Jewish state.