On Wednesday morning, the day after Israel celebrated its 65th birthday, two rockets struck the resort city of Eilat in southern Israel. No injuries were reported, but a radical Islamic group has taken credit for the attack.
- The BBC reports that sirens went off just before the rockets hit. The Israeli military also closed the airport for a brief time and has tightening security in the region. The IDF had reportedly installed one of their anti-missile, Iron Dome protection systems in the region, but it was not deployed at the time of the attack.
- The Jerusalem Post claimed, "at least two Grad rockets fired from the Sinai area hit Israel's southernmost city of Eilat on Wednesday morning, causing no injuries but some damage."
- Al Jazeera is reporting that the rockets came from Egypt and struck the Red Sea resort town.
Less than two hours after the rockets hit (without causing any injury or loss of life), radical Islamists claimed responsibility for the attack. A Salafi group, Magles Shoura al-Mujahddin, posted the a notice on their website. This is significant because Magles Shoura al-Moujahddin is the same group that took credit for firing missiles at an Israeli town during President Obama's recent visit. Their statement on the March attack read;
"Responding to the bragging of the Roman dog and the war criminals of their so-called Iron Dome, we assert that all their military techniques will not stop God's destiny of tormenting them."
As you can see from the map, Eilat is quite close to both Egypt and Jordan (the green portion of the map). In the past year, the city of Eilat was hit three times by similar rocket attacks, the last one happening in November of 2012.
Image: Al Jazeera
Where were the rockets launched from? Despite the Al Jazeera story that points to Egypt as the place from which the attack was launch, the Egyptian military claims to that their investigation is ongoing.
Israel's military has not responded to this latest attack on its southern border, but Prime Minister Netanyahu is said to be consulting with his defense minister and the mayor of Eilat on an appropriate answer.