Connect to share and comment

Two rockets fired from Sinai hit Israeli town of Eilat

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

At least two rockets fired from the Sinai Peninsula exploded in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat early on Wednesday causing no casualties, the Israeli army and police said.

Israeli military sources said the vaunted Iron Dome anti-missile system, which was recently deployed around Eilat, did not engage to intercept the rockets.

"We've found two explosion sites in the city, we've also closed off the airport as a precaution," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, saying one landed in "an open area close to one of the neighbourhoods."

He said the sirens had sounded but that there were no initial reports of casualties. "Bomb disposal experts are searching the area," he said.

The military spokeswoman said both rockets had struck open areas.

"There were two rockets fired from Sinai, both landed in open spaces," she said.

Earlier this month, the Israeli press reported that a battery of the Iron Dome system had been located to the area over fears of such an attack from Sinai.

But the military source said it did not activate.

"Due to operational circumstances the battery located in the area did not intercept the incoming rockets," the source said, without saying why.

Israeli media reports also said two rockets had landed in the nearly resort town of Aqaba in Jordan, in a report denied by security officials in Amman.

"All military and security services in Aqaba have confirmed that nothing happened in Aqaba. It was only on the other side," Amer Sartawi, spokesman for the Public Security Department, told AFP.

At least two Aqaba residents contacted by AFP said they were unaware of rockets landing in the city.

Eilat lies on the northernmost point of the Gulf of Aqaba, a narrow stretch of water bordered on one side by the Sinai and the other by Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Last April, a rocket fired from Sinai hit Eilat but caused no casualties, with police finding another unexploded rocket near the city several days later.

In August, another two rockets rocked the city, again injuring no-one.

That attack was claimed by an Islamist group calling itself Ansar Beit al-Maqdis which said it had fired two Grad rockets at the city.

burs-hmw/dv

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130417/two-rockets-fired-sinai-hit-israeli-town-eilat-0