ISIS claims responsibility for Eilat rockets
The terror movement took responsibility for the four rockets fired into the southern holiday resort Wednesday night; Between 800-1,000 of its fighters operate in half of the Sinai Peninsula against 25,000 Egyptian soldiers; Egyptian military reports destruction of 6 tunnels in last month.
ISIS (Islamic State) terror group claimed responsibility Thursday afternoon for the four rockets that were fired into Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday night.
The organization issued a statement saying: “A number of rockets were launched at Jewish centers in Eilat, known as Umm Rashrash. The Jews and Crusaders should know that the war of the apostles will not save them in any way.”
In the early hours of the morning, Hamas originally claimed that two Palestinians were killed, and another five were injured, during an overnight strike by the IDF in Rafah in southern Gaza launched just two hours after three rockets were intercepted by Iron dome, and another one landed in open space.
While Hamas immediately attributed the attack to the Israel Air Force, the Israeli military suggested that it may have been carried out by the Egyptians, claiming that it was unaware of any such attack being carried out.
Israel’s suggestion came a number of hours after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's army announced that in the course of the last months, it has exposed and obliterated six tunnels stretching between the Gaza Strip into Egyptian territory.
Picture show tunnels equipped with, inter alia, fans and other electrical appliances. These tunnels were said to have been destroyed between January 17 and February 2. Two night ago, an Egyptian military spokesman said that the army had managed to kill three ISIS members in the northern Sinai.
A source with close ties to Hamas in Gaza said that the target was a tunnel on the Gaza-Egypt border and that injuries were caused as a result.
However, a Palestinian security official later told Ynet that while the tunnel that was attacked was indeed used for smuggling weapons, the explosion took place, most likely, as a result of an Egyptian attack or an internal explosion while weapons were being transferred through it.
Furthermore he pointed out that Egypt is currently at the zenith of its efforts to destroy the tunnels, manoy of which are controlled by ISIS in the the Sinai.
The source also highlighted the fact that the tunnel that was hit was located east of the Rafah crossing and that an ISIS branch in the Sinai is operating in territory in precisely this area where their weapons depot is located.
Also indicating that the explosion was the result of an Egyptian attack was the fact ISIS controls military tunnels in Gaza.
The first reports of the attack in Gaza were published at 1:30am overnight Wednesday. By early Thursday morning, Hamas’s ministry of health had reported that two had been killed and five more wounded.
One of the people killed is said to be a 24 year old from Rafah while the second is said to be 38 years old.
Last night, shortly before 11:00pm, a Code Red alert was sounded in Israel’s southern holiday resort of Eilat when four rockets were blasted into the area, three of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system. One of the rockets landed in open space.
Fragments from the intercepted rockets were discovered in a swimming pool in the city.
No injuries or damage were caused. However, Yoseftal Medical Center in the area said that four were being treated for shock.
Earlier Wednesday evening, a mortar shell fired from a tank in Syria exploded in open territory in the Golan Heights along Israel's northern border, prompting the IDF to attack a Syrian army post in retaliation.
Tensions have been heating up particularly on the Gaza border, with Hamas rockets being fired into Israel and IDF retaliations becoming increasingly commonplace.
On Monday, IDF tanks and aircraft destroyed several Hamas positions throughout the day after a rocket was fired toward the Hof Ashkelon area the same morning and Hamas forces opened fire on an IDF force working near the Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip in the evening.
Elior Levy, Roi Kais, Yoav Zitun and Meir Ohayon cortributed to this report.