Site of rocket landing, Eilat
Photo: Eliad Levy
Danino speaks at the press conference
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Egypt: Palestinians behind rocket attack on Eilat

Police say rockets fired from Sinai fell on city's salt pools area, not in sea as previously reported. Egyptian source confirms rockets fired by Gaza terrorists

Contrary to earlier reports, the two rockets that fell in the Eilat and Aqaba region on Monday landed in the salt pools area and not in the sea as previously suggested, Southern District Police Commander Yohanan Danino said Wednesday. Danino, speaking at a press conference, emphasized that recent events had placed the southern city on the list of areas threatened by terror.


Also Wednesday, Egyptian security sources confirmed the rockets were fired from the Sinai Peninsula and claimed that armed Palestinians from Gaza were responsible.


"The preliminary information that the security has received indicates that Palestinian factions from the Gaza Strip are behind that operation," the unnamed Egyptian source told the state MENA agency.


Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri criticised the Egyptian claim, calling it politically motivated. "This sounds silly and does not depend on any actual reasonable evidence," he said.

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The rockets hit Israel's and Jordan's Red Sea ports, killing a Jordanian civilian and injuring three others, Jordanian and Israeli police said.


Commander Moshe Cohen presented footage showing the two rockets exploding one after the other, with a time difference of 29 seconds.


"After analysis, we understand that the two rockets fell in the same area," Danino said. He corrected what Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi and chairman of Hotel Association had said, suggesting the rockets were a chance event: "Eilat is on the map of terror organizations. We know of intentions throughout the year," he said.


"The events that took place here a few months ago, when rockets fell in the sea, brought up this threat which has become relevant to this area," he added. "After Monday's incident, which we view gravely, we have met to assess the situation with the army and Shin Bet and decide what should be done."


However, he said he did not expect rocket fire to become a routine part of Eilat residents' lives. "If these events continue, and we experience another such attack, we know how to respond," he said. "I think the chances of this happening are low."


"Armed Palestinians from Gaza were responsible for the firing of rockets," an Egyptian security source claimed, adding that the rockets were launched from the Sinai Peninsula.


Egypt's official news agency MENA agreed with this assessment: "The preliminary information that the security has received indicates that Palestinian factions from the Gaza Strip are behind that operation," the state news agency quoted an unnamed security source as saying.


Roee Nahmias and Reuters also contributed to this report.



פרסום ראשון: 08.04.10, 12:47
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