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April 17, 2013 7:45 am

Jihadist Group Claims Responsibility for Rockets that Strike Eilat

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North Beach in Eilat. Photo: wiki commons.

Sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Eilat on Wednesday morning after two rockets fired from the Sinai Peninsula exploded in a planned new residential area within the city, causing no injuries or damage, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The rockets that struck Eilat were part of a volley fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the army said. Two other rockets reportedly hit Jordan. A Jordanian official told Israel Hayom that one of the rockets exploded in the city of Aqaba’s industrial zone.

Following the rockets, the airport in Eilat was temporarily closed to takeoffs and landings. Students at schools in Eilat took cover in protected spaces. By noon, the city returned to normal. The Sinai-based Islamist terrorist group Magles Shoura al-Mujahddin claimed responsibility for a rocket attack. In a statement posted on its website, the group said the attack was in retaliation for what it described as “the Israeli army’s attack on protesters demonstrating over the death of a Palestinian prisoner.”

Residents of Eilat said the rockets first exploded, and only afterward was a siren heard. Israel Radio reported that the IDF was looking into why Israel’s highly successful Iron Dome missile defense system, which was deployed to Eilat two weeks ago, did not spring into operation and launch interceptors at the rockets. An IDF Spokeswoman told Reutersthat the Iron Dome didn’t intercept the rockets “for operational reasons,” without elaborating.

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