Last updated: 1 February, 2014

Egypt jihadists claim rocket fire on Israel’s Eilat

An Egyptian jihadist group said Saturday that it fired a rocket at the Red Sea resort of Eilat which was intercepted by Israeli air defences, its second in a fortnight.

Al-Qaeda inspired Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem), which is based just across the border from Israel in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, threatened to follow Friday’s foiled rocket fire with further attacks.

“God helped your brothers in Ansar Beit al-Maqdis to succeed and target the Israeli city of Eilat,” the group said in a statement posted on jihadist forums.

“Jews, you have to know that nothing will stop us from fighting you, even if the entire world’s armies move on your instructions. If they create a barrier between us and you, with God’s help and strength, we will get you and kill you.”

The rocket fired on Friday was destroyed by an Iron Dome air defence battery deployed outside Eilat, an Israeli police spokeswoman said.

On January 20, another rocket claimed by the jihadist group struck the outskirts of the Israeli resort city without causing any casualties.

In August, another rocket fired on Eilat from Egypt was intercepted by Iron Dome. It was claimed by a Salafist group based in the Gaza Strip, which also borders the Sinai.

Since the ouster of veteran Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, Israel’s border with Sinai has seen multiple security incidents, with militants using the lawless peninsula as a launchpad for attacks on the Jewish state.