Eilat residents hear blasts, no rockets found

Amid turmoil in Egypt, residents report hearing 2 explosions; security forces don't find any fallen projectiles, none hurt.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 5, 2013 03:36
1 minute read.
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Eilat hotels 370. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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Eilat residents reported hearing explosions in the area on Thursday night sparking fears of a rocket attack, however police had not located any fallen projectiles.

Two blasts were heard at around 9:30 p.m. throughout the southern city, according to witnesses, but the red alert rocket warning siren was not triggered nor were there any reports of injuries or damage.

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Security forces launched a search of the area but said they could not confirm what caused the blast. Police informed local residents that it was safe to leave their bomb shelters about an hour after the blasts were heard.

Israeli authorities were also conferring with Egyptian security officials about the possibility of rockets having fallen in Sinai.

Two rockets were fired at Eilat in April, in attacks that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attributed to terrorists from the Gaza Strip who had used Sinai in order to launch attacks on Israel.

As opposed to the unidentified blasts heard in Eilat on Thursday night, April's attacks did set off the red alert rocket siren.

Thursday's fears of rocket attacks from Sinai came on the backdrop of the Egyptian army's removal Wednesday of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

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Former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi said Thursday that while he does not envision Morsi's ouster posing a security threat to Israel,  some risk could come from Sinai, where decreased presence of the Egyptian army could present an opportunity for Islamist militants to act from the peninsula against Israel.

"This is a scenario that the IDF and the defense system are thinking about, and I'm sure are prepared for," Ashkenazi said, adding that for the time being, he sees no reason to interfere in Egypt.

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