Last updated: 8 August, 2013

Israel’s Eilat airport closed on security grounds

The airport in Israel’s Red Sea resort of Eilat resumed flights on Thursday after a brief shutdown over unspecified security concerns, the military said.

“The airport is open after a new situation report,” a spokeswoman told AFP, without further explanation.

The military earlier ordered the cancellation of all flights in and out of Eilat for about two hours following a security assessment, but gave no details of the possible threat.

Only domestic flights had been scheduled to land or take off from the southern town.

News website Ynet said the shutdown did not appear to be linked to fears of an imminent Al-Qaeda operation, which prompted the United States to close its Middle East diplomatic missions.

Last month, Israel deployed a battery of its Iron Dome missile defence system near Eilat, which is next to the border with Egypt’s troubled Sinai Peninsula.

Media reports said the deployment was related to unrest in Egypt, where the army is waging a campaign against militants in the Sinai.

Eilat has been the target of attacks in the past.

In April, it was struck by rocket fire from the Sinai, and debris from a rocket that hit northern Eilat on July 4 was found days later.

The current Egyptian offensive was launched to curtail a surge in violence since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted in a coup on July 3.

On Wednesday, Egypt’s military said it had killed 60 “terrorists” in Sinai in the month since toppling Morsi, which fuelled militant attacks in the restive peninsula.