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Israel Intercepts Missile Fired from Egypt

  • Elizabeth Arrott

Israel says its Iron Dome defense system has intercepted a rocket fired by militants in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.

The thwarted attack comes just hours after Egyptian officials said they killed 25 Sinai militants.

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The militant group Magles Shoura al-Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attempt and vowed further attacks on Eilat and other Israeli cities.
The group called it retaliation for a strike last week that killed four Sinai fighters. The militants blame an Israeli drone for that attack.
Israel declined comment while Egypt said Egyptian forces carried out the operation. If Israel acknowledged the attack, Egypt would be obligated to respond.
Tuesday's intercept follows the Egyptian military's claim of killing 25 militants overnight. Authorities say a weapons cache was also destroyed.
Despite the actions, military analyst, retired Egyptian General Talaat Mossalem, said the risks to Israel will continue.
He said Israel is improving its Iron Dome, but last year's fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Gaza revealed that some rockets have managed to penetrate the defenses.
The Sinai has grown increasingly lawless since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
It has become an unsafe haven for African refugees from sub-Saharan Africa. According to human rights groups, many have been kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured by Bedouins who demand ransom from the victims' families back home.
Heavy weaponry, meanwhile, smuggled from post-uprising Libya, has provided militants in the vast, barren peninsula with greater fire power. The ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last month has given them another rallying cry.
General Mossalem said jihadi elements in Sinai enjoyed a special relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood with which Morsi was aligned. But the trouble, he said, is not limited to Israel.
During the period since the military coup, he added, militants, under the banner the “Islamic Emirate in Sinai” have turned their sights increasingly on the new Egyptian government.

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