The Islamic State group said Thursday that it fired rockets at the Israeli resort of Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula in a rare attack on the Jewish state from Egyptian territory.
The Israeli army said there were no casualties from Wednesday evening’s rocket fire — three of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system and a fourth fell short of the town.
A few hours later, two Palestinians were killed elsewhere in the Sinai. The Islamist Hamas movement which rules Gaza said it was an Israeli air strike. The Israeli army denied carrying out any such action.
4 rockets from Egypt’s Sinai targeting southern Israel, 3 intercepted
“Thanks to God alone, a military platoon fired several Grad rockets yesterday” towards Eilat, the jihadists’ Egyptian affiliate said in a statement circulated on social media.
It was the first time since 2015 that rockets had been fired at Israel from Egypt, said Ely Karmon, senior research scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism.
Egypt is one of just two Arab countries that have signed a peace treaty with the Jewish state.
ISIS has been waging a deadly insurgency against Egyptian security forces in the Sinai but it has rarely attempted attacks against Israel.
A few hours after the rocket attack, two Palestinians died elsewhere in the Sinai near the border with Gaza.
Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs territory, said the two men were hit by an Israeli air strike just inside Egypt.
Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner denied any involvement in the strike. There was no comment from the Egyptian government. The vast Sinai Peninsula borders both Israel and Gaza, although more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) separates Eilat from the site of the alleged Israeli strike. source