Israel finds dud rocket near Eilat: Military

Last Updated: Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 22:32

Jerusalem: The Israeli Army found an unexploded rocket near Eilat, two days after another rocket fired from Egypt`s Sinai Peninsula hit the southern resort city, a military spokesman said on Saturday.

"An unexploded rocket was found in an open area near Eilat," the spokesman said, noting that it was a Grad-type rocket. "It appears to be an additional rocket from the Thursday incident, bringing the total confirmed rockets fired to two."

Early on Thursday, a rocket fired from Sinai slammed into the Red Sea resort city, causing no injuries in the town packed with tourists ahead of the week-long Jewish holiday Passover, which began at sundown yesterday.

Eilat police were put on the highest state of alert following the attack, during which three loud blasts rocked the city.

The attack prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to warn that Israel would "hit those who hit us”.

"We have long seen that half the Sinai Peninsula has become a base for launching rockets at Israel," he said on Thursday.

Israel`s chief of military intelligence Aviv Kochavi noted o Thursday evening that in the past two months "over ten terror infrastructures in Sinai were exposed and the attacks they planned were thwarted”.

In Egypt, officials said publicly that the attack was not staged from Sinai.

It was the first rocket attack since the collapse of the regime of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Since he was toppled, a wave of unrest has swept the restive Sinai Peninsula which borders on Israel.

In August 2011, a group of gunmen from the Sinai sneaked across the border and carried out a series of deadly ambushes just north of Eilat, killing eight Israelis.

In the ensuing search for the gunmen, Israeli troops shot dead six Egyptian police officers along the border, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

A year earlier, several rockets fired from the Sinai, which were apparently aimed at Eilat, slammed into the nearby Jordanian port of Aqaba, killing one person and wounding five others. (AFP)

PTI



First Published: Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 22:32

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