Tension at Egypt border – Remnants of a Grad rocket were discovered Saturday morning in the Ovda area in southern Israel after reports of an explosion, Ynet learned. No injuries or damage were reported.
According to a Tel Aviv resident who was staying at a community in the Arava region, the explosion occured at around 1 am.
"The bed shook and other pieces of furniture moved," he said. "In the morning we found out that the Grad landed about 200 meters from us."
An initial probe suggests the rocket was fired from the Sinai Peninsula, and may be linked to the presidential elections in Egypt,
which kicked off Saturday morning. Another possibility is that the rocket was fired from Jordan.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit stated: "After receiving reports of a loud explosion in the Negev, IDF forces scanned the area and located the remnants of a 122 millimeter Grad rocket that exploded in an open area. The IDF is probing the incident."
Grad landing site (Photo: Dotan Helbreich)
Hevel Eilot Regional Council head Udi Gat said, "At approximately 1:30 an explosion was heard in the Shaharot area and nearby kibbutzim. The residents took it in stride because there is an airport nearby and they regularly hear supersonic booms. In the morning a Shaharot resident who was on his way to the camel farm found the Grad remnants.
Gat said security officials later determined that the rocket was fired from Sinai, some 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the border. It landed in an open area, he said.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian security official quoted by Egyptian news agency Suna denied media reports by which the Grad was fired from the Sinai Peninsula, saying the claims were meant to destabilize the security situation in Sinai and the presidential elections.
In recent months several rockets were fired into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula. In April, Eilat residents located remnants of a rocket some
10 meters from a residential neighborhood. No injuries were reported.
In August 2010, five rockets exploded
in Eilat and Aqaba. A Jordanian taxi driver was killed and several were injured in Aqaba. There were no injuries in Israel.
Last August, a deadly terror attack near
Eilat claimed the lives of eight people.
Roi Kais contributed to this report