'Code Red' sounds in Eilat, two Grads fired at city

Islamic Militant group in Sinai claims responsibility; one rocket falls at building site, second falls in open area.

Eilat rocket (photo credit: Spokesperson police southern region)
Eilat rocket
(photo credit: Spokesperson police southern region)
A jihadi group in the Sinai Peninsula fired two Grad rockets at Eilat on Wednesday morning, triggering air raid sirens in the Red Sea city.
The rockets exploded in open territory, causing no injuries or damage. One projectile fell in a building site.
Security forces later tracked down the rocket remains, directing their searches in accordance with where residents heard blasts. Photographs taken shortly after the blasts showed plumes of white smoke rising from the impact sites.
A Salafi jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attacks, the AFP reported.
“The lions of the Mujahedeen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem managed to target occupied Eilat with two Grad rockets on the morning of April 17, and withdrew safely,” a statement posted on jihadist websites said.
Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi vowed to continue life as usual in the city.
“We will slowly return to normal,” he said. “We know jihadi forces are trying to harm Eilat, an important city. Unfortunately it happened this morning. We very much hope the rocket launchers will be caught.”
Although the IDF stationed an Iron Dome battery near Eilat earlier this month, it did not intercept the rockets. Some residents also complained that sirens went off only after the attack began.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the city’s airport had been shut for a short period, adding, “We’ll take additional precautions in case of further attacks.”
Brig.-Gen. Zvi Fogel, former head of the IDF Southern Command, told the 103 FM radio station: “Enough with trusting [Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi to do the work. I want to see the rocket launchers meet their makers... not only them, but also those who instructed and funded them.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon briefed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – who is in London for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral – on the Eilat rocket attacks. Ya’alon also spoke to Eilat’s mayor by phone.
Netanyahu also held security consultations over the phone regarding the best way to respond to the rocket fire.