Sinai terrorists claim to have fired Eilat rockets

Global jihad group says it fired Grads at southern city a day after residents report hearing 2 blasts; no fallen rockets located.

Eilat hotels 370 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Eilat hotels 370
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A terrorist organization affiliated with global jihad elements in Sinai said on Friday it had fired two rockets at Eilat the previous day.
Eilat residents heard two blasts on Thursday night, but security forces did not find rocket remains.
The Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes (Supporters Of Jerusalem) group, which has claimed responsibility for rocket attacks in the past, said two Grad rockets they fired caused the sound of explosions heard throughout the southern city around 9:30 p.m.
The Color Red rocket warning siren was not triggered, nor were there any reports of injuries or damage.
Security forces could not confirm what caused the blasts.
Police informed residents that it was safe to leave their bomb shelters about an hour after the blasts were heard.
Israeli authorities also conferred with Egyptian security officials about the possibility of rockets having hit 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 to launch attacks on Israel.
April’s attacks did set off the Color Red siren.
Thursday’s fears of rocket attacks from Sinai came a day after the Egyptian army toppled president Mohamed Morsi.
Former IDF chief of staff Lt.- Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi said on 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 Islamists to act 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.