News / Middle East

Rockets Target Popular Israeli Resort Town

Police and rescue services arrive at the scene of a rocket attack in the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat, on August 15, 2012.
Police and rescue services arrive at the scene of a rocket attack in the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat, on August 15, 2012.
Reuters
Two rockets fired from Egypt's Sinai peninsula struck Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat on Wednesday, causing no casualties or damage, the Israeli military said, in an attack claimed by Islamist militants.

The incident was likely to fuel Israeli concerns about lawlessness in neighbouring Sinai, where militant groups have stepped up their activities since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's downfall in 2011.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said two rockets were launched from Sinai and that both hit open areas.

In a statement posted on its website, the Islamist militant group Magles Shoura al-Mujahddin said it had targeted Eilat with two Grad missiles and then withdrew safely. Egyptian security sources said the rockets had probably been fired from Sinai.

The group shares the same ideology as al-Qaida and its recruits include Egyptians and Palestinians. It said it was retaliating for what it described as "Israel's attack on protesters demonstrating over a Palestinian prisoner's death".

Two weeks ago, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian youth in the occupied West Bank during confrontations with protesters angered by the death in prison from cancer of 64-year-old Maysara Abu Hamdeya. Palestinian officials said he had been denied timely medical care. Israel denied any negligence.

Speaking on Israel Radio before the claim of responsibility, Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defense official, said: "There are terror groups seeking to complicate Israel's relations with Egypt by murdering Israelis and disrupting life.''

Such groups, Gilad said, "aim to destroy and drown in blood everything possible, and we have to deal with them''.

But he made no suggestion of any Israeli military action in Sinai, a move that would violate a 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, and praised what he called a "continuous and deep dialogue'' with Egyptian officials on security issues.

"They have no sympathy for terror,'' Gilad said about authorities in Egypt, now led by a president from the Muslim Brotherhood, a group Israel has viewed with suspicion.

Israel deployed an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery in Eilat some two weeks ago, a period coinciding with the Jewish Passover holiday when the city at the tip of Gulf of Aqaba is packed with vacationers.

But on Wednesday, the system did not intercept the incoming missiles "for operational reasons'', the spokeswoman said, without elaborating. The attack was carried out a day after Israel celebrated its 65th anniversary.

Rockets last struck Eilat in November, causing no injuries or damage.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs