More jihadi strikes on Eilat feared

Two Grad rockets fired towards Eilat on Monday evening failed to cause any casualties or damage but raised concerns about future attempts by terror groups in Sinai to launch attacks on the city. The rockets fell in open spaces near its southern neighbourhoods.

The last attack on Eilat was in August, and security sources believe that the intensive Egyptian campaign against jihadi groups operating in Sinai has been effective in preventing other attacks. A significant jihadi presence still remains in the peninsula, however.

On Tuesday morning, a Salafist movement active in Sinai, Ansar Beit al-Makdas, took responsibility for the attack. It said in a statement: “Our war with the internal enemy [the Egyptian government] will not makes us forget the main enemy that is occupying our lands and defiling our sacred places. With Allah’s help, the Jews will see from us only damage.”

Jihadis have been also behind the recent attacks from Gaza. But Hamas, fearful of Israeli retaliation, has been trying to prevent rocket launches and the concern is that the efforts to hit Eilat from Sinai will intensify.

Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi said that while there was a threat, “so far, neither tourists nor Israelis have cancelled their plans to holiday in Eilat”.

Last updated: 4:45pm, January 23 2014