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Site of rocket landing Photo: Yair Sagi, Yedioth Ahronoth
Site of rocket landing Photo: Yair Sagi, Yedioth Ahronoth
 
Rocket part Photo: Yair Sagi, Yedioth Ahronoth
Rocket part Photo: Yair Sagi, Yedioth Ahronoth
 
 

Rocket remnants found north of Eilat

Sappers find parts of Grad rocket thought to have been one of five fired towards Eilat in drainage tank north of city. Netanyahu calls Jordanian, Egyptian leaders to inveigh against 'criminal attack on innocent citizens'

Ahuva Mamos
Published: 08.02.10, 19:52 / Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Jordanian and Egyptian leaders Monday and called the rocket fire towards Eilat, which occurred earlier that day, "a criminal attack on innocent citizens".

 

Sappers located remnants of one of the five rockets fired Monday morning in a drainage tank north of the southern city. An initial examination suggests it was a Grad rocket.

 

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Netanyahu told Jordan's King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that the attack "was committed by terror agents who want to thwart the peace process".

 

"All states in the region that aspire towards peace should fight these powers, push terror away and bring peace closer," he added.

 

Security forces are apparently planning on draining water from the facility in which the rocket remnants were found in order to retrieve all of its parts.

  

Southern District Police chief Major General Yohanan Danino will arrive in Eilat on Tuesday to hold a special status evaluation on the matter together with the IDF, Shin Bet and local authorities, but police sources stressed that no special arrangements are being made and that the city of Eilat is functioning as normal.

 

Shortly before the parts were located, a military source said one rocket had landed in the Sinai Peninsula not far from an international force post. The source noted that the Defense Ministry's estimate that the rockets were fired from Egypt's territory has not changed.

 

Vacationers undeterred

Five rockets were fired towards Eilat and the Jordanian port city of Aqaba Monday morning. Two rockets exploded in open areas in Eilat, two landed at sea and one landed near a hotel in Aqaba. Jordanian authorities reported of one fatality and several injuries.

 

Israeli elements estimated the rockets were fired from Sinai. Jordan's information minister did not name the peninsula but said the rockets had been fired from southwest of Aqaba.

 

Egypt denied any suggestion the attack was executed from its territory. "The rockets were not launched from Sinai," an Egyptian security official claimed. "The firing of rockets from Egypt entails extensive logistical preparations and a large amount of equipment. It's impossible, since the Sinai Peninsula is under heavy security."

 

Meanwhile, the firing has not slowed traffic at the Yitzhak Rabin border crossing. A Jordanian citizen working in Eilat told Ynet: "I phoned my wife, she told me a taxi driver was killed. I heard the blast at 8 am, thinking it was the engine. I looked over at the Jordanian side and saw nothing. I spoke to my wife and she said everyone was alright. The kids were sleeping. As far as I'm concerned nothing happened. I expect that should this happen again the government will act."

 

An Israeli citizen crossing the border on his way to a hotel in Aqaba was also unfazed. "We considered staying and decided to go. We're hoping there will be no more missiles," he said. "Some of the people canceled, but we're going. I have one night to enjoy myself here so I'm ready to go despite the risks."

 

Roni Sofer, Hanan Greenberg, and Ilana Curiel contributed to this report

 

 

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