Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

Middle east

Israeli city of Eilat struck by two rockets

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-04-17

A jihadist group on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the two rockets that hit the resort town of Eilat in southern Israel earlier in the day. Israeli officials said nobody was injured.

Militants in the Sinai peninsula fired at least two rockets at Israel’s southern resort town of Eilat early Wednesday, officials said, highlighting what Israel says is a dire security situation in neighboring Egypt. A jihadist group later claimed the attack.

Nobody was hurt in the attack, police said, although one rocket exploded near the courtyard of a house. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the remains of two Grad-style katyusha rockets had been found and bomb experts were looking for more.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was traveling to London Wednesday for the funeral of Britain’s late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said he had spoken with his defense minister and discussed how to respond.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel but relations are cool. The Sinai was until recently a popular destination for Israeli travelers.

But Israeli officials have grown increasingly jittery about the situation in the Sinai since the ouster of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Islamic militant groups, some believed to be affiliated with the al-Qaida terror network, have taken advantage of a power vacuum in the lawless area and have carried out a string of rocket attacks and other operations along the border.

The deadliest was in August 2011, when militants from the Sinai rushed into Israel, ambushing Israeli buses and cars with gunfire and a bomb, killing eight Israelis. During the melee, Israeli forces killed three Egyptian soldiers. Israel later apologized for their deaths. It was unclear how they were killed: one account said there was an exchange of fire between soldiers as they pursued the militants, while Egyptian officials said they were killed in an airstrike.

Israel believes militants from the Gaza Strip, which also borders the Sinai, are also operating in the area. Israel’s military chief, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, has said security in southern Israel from threats in the Sinai is a high priority. The regime change in Egypt, now governed by the Muslim Brotherhood, has not damaged cooperation between the countries’ security forces, he added.

“Coordination even improved in certain aspects,” he said Tuesday.

Israel has increased surveillance on the porous Egyptian border over the past two years, and is building a barrier along the 230-kilometer (150-mile) frontier to keep out militants and African migrants. In a reflection of Israeli concerns, the military moved a battery of its new “Iron Dome” rocket-defense system into Eilat earlier this month.

Although air-raid sirens went off, the military said the system, which is meant to fire when rockets are headed toward populated areas, was not deployed. It cited “operational circumstances” but did not elaborate.

Danny Lahav of Eilat’s Chamber of Commerce told channel 2 TV that he heard the sound of a “faint explosion” in the morning, followed by two louder explosions. Residents in the popular tourist destination remained calm, he said, adding that he hopes the attack won’t dissuade visitors.

Israeli media said there were reports rockets had also hit the tourist city of Aqaba in neighboring Jordan, but Jordanian Interior Minister Hussein Majali told the Associated Press that “no rockets” fell in Jordan.

A senior Egyptian military intelligence official in Sinai said the army was investigating the incident. He said investigators were looking into the possibility of strikes launched from southern Sinai, around the popular tourist area of Taba along the Red Sea and nearby mountainous areas.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-04-17

  • EGYPT

    Israeli, Norwegian tourists kidnapped in Egypt's Sinai

    Read more

  • EGYPT - ISRAEL

    Israeli soldier, Sinai militants die in border clashes

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Dozens killed in Sinai crackdown, Egyptian army says

    Read more

COMMENT(S)