Wednesday, August 14, 2013

'Eilat will never Enjoy Security,' Warns Salafi Terror Group

by Ronit Zilberstein, Lilach Shoval and Israel Hayom

Iron Dome defense system intercepts Grad rocket fired into Eilat for first time • Sinai- and Gaza-based Salafi group claims responsibility, says rocket is retaliation for deaths of four jihadists killed over the weekend, reportedly by Israeli drone.

Eilat comes under attack: The Grad rocket is fired and intercepted, Tuesday.
Photo credit: Noa City Eliyahu

Hours after a Grad rocket was intercepted by an Israeli Iron Dome battery in the southern city of Eilat for the first time, a Salafi Palestinian terror organization claimed responsibility for the attack. The group claimed the rocket attack was in retaliation for a weekend drone strike, attributed to Israel by foreign media, which killed four Palestinian terrorists as they were readying to launch a rocket into Israel.

The Salafi group -- The Mojahideen Shura Council Environs of Jerusalem -- which operates in Sinai and the Gaza Strip, issued a statement on Tuesday saying that "we bombed Umm al-Rashrash (the Arabic name for Eilat) with a Grad rocket was a rapid response to the crime committed by Jews recently, in which four jihadi fighters were killed by drone in Sinai."

The organization went on to issue threats, saying "the Mojahideen have infused fear and awe into the hearts of the criminal Jews who were forced to scurry into bomb shelters in the middle of the night. Some of them got scared and announced that three rockets had been fired, and some of them were intercepted."

"We want to emphasize that Eilat and other Jewish cities will never enjoy security, tourism or a flourishing economy. The Jews will pay for the jihadi fighters who died in Sinai. Sinai will stand strong against Israeli aggression," the statement said. 

The group posted its message on social media networks and via Egyptian media outlets.
Channel 2 news quoted a source close to global jihad in Sinai as saying that the Grad rocket that was fired into Eilat on Monday was the same rocket that was supposed to be launched on Thursday, before the drone strike in Rafah. "The organization that came under attack managed to transfer the rocket to a secret location, and then to the spot where it was launched toward Eilat," the source said. 

Earlier Tuesday, the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system intercepted the rocket bound for Eilat. No one was wounded and no damage was caused by the explosion. 

Security forces rushed to Eilat after loud explosions were heard over the city at 1 a.m. Preliminary investigations showed that the Grad rocket had been fired from the Sinai Peninsula as part of a salvo of rockets fired toward Eilat. Iron Dome only intercepted the rocket that was calculated to have been heading toward a populated area.

Many residents reported hearing a loud whistling noise. 

"We heard a siren and immediately afterward we saw the interception in the sky. The explosion looked like flares being fired, and we immediately understood it was an Iron Dome interception," Eilat resident Aya Plashkes said. 

The IDF Spokesperson's Office confirmed that it was Iron Dome's first successful interception in Eilat.

Ronit Zilberstein, Lilach Shoval and Israel Hayom


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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