Netanyahu: “We Will Exact a Price” For Eilat Attack
Prime Minister Netanyahu pledged to “exact a price” from the Gaza-based terrorist cell that fired rockets on the coastal city of Eilat, in a cabinet meeting this Sunday. The rockets, apparently fired by the Magles Shoura al-Mujahddin Islamist group from the Sinai Peninsula, landed in Israel and Jordan this Wednesday. Rocket fire on Eilat has become more common since Egypt has lost effective control over the Sinai Peninsula, described by Haaretz as a “no man’s land”. The Sinai also apparently serves as an arms market.
Netanyahu had stern words at the meeting, saying that “Those responsible, apparently, were members of a terrorist cell that left Gaza and used Sinai in order to attack an Israeli city. This is unacceptable. We will exact a price for this; this has been our consistent policy for the past four years and it will serve us here as well.”
For years, Israel has been concerned over Egypt’s lack of control in the Sinai. In 2011, after terrorists crossed the Israel-Egypt border and murdered eight near Eilat, then-acting Defense Minister Ehud Barak talked of the “weakening Egyptian grip on Sinai and the widening operation of terrorists there”. Although Egypt has apparently not put a stop to terrorist activity, a state-run Egyptian newspaper recently claimed that the Egyptian government had destroyed an Israeli spy ring in the Sinai.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has dismissed Israeli claims that security cooperation between Israel and Egypt is better than in the past, saying “even enemy states coordinate on security matters to achieve stability along the border“.