Two rockets were fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel on Monday morning. The Islamic State’s Sinai branch is likely to have been responsible for the attack.
Nobody was injured and no damage was caused when the rockets landed in the Eshkol region of southern Israel. There were no rocket warning sirens as it was determined that the rockets would land in open areas.
An IDF statement confirmed that “projectiles launched from the Sinai Peninsula” struck the Eshkol region and that “forces are searching the area” for the remnants of the rockets.
Although nobody has yet claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack, it came just a day after ISIS’s al-Amaq news agency said that an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Israeli Air Force attacked a vehicle in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, killing four of the Islamic terror group’s members. They were allegedly travelling in the area of Rafah near the village of Shibana as they prepared to fire a rocket towards Israel.
Earlier this month, ISIS’s Sinai branch, known as Sinai Province, claimed responsibility for four rockets fired from Sinai at Israel’s southernmost city Eilat. Three of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system and a fourth landed in an open area and caused no damage. The group released a statement saying the war against “the infidels” will continue and threatened future “calamitous” attacks.
Sinai Province violently opposes the government of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and has persistently attacked Egyptian military forces in Sinai. It has also launched attacks against Israeli targets, including firing three Grad rockets into Israel in 2015. Both Cairo and Jerusalem have deep concerns over cooperation between Sinai Province and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which are thought to aid each other via smuggling tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border.
However, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday played down the ISIS threat from Sinai. Talking to Army Radio, Lieberman said “we need to see everything in proportion,” explaining that “if you are talking about Hamas and Hezbollah then [Sinai Province] is not even a terror group.”
[Photo: BICOM ]