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ISRAELI RESORT OF EILAT WAS HIT BY GRAD ROCKET

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A Grad rocket has landed in the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat, on Thursday 04/05/2012 after midnight, but has caused no damage or injuries, Israeli security officials said. District police chief Ron Gertner told Israeli radio the rocket had been fired from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. He said it struck a construction site close to a residential area shortly after midnight (see – Eilat Assault 2011).

The blast took place as thousands congregated in the resort town for the Jewish holiday of Passover. Rocket attacks from Egyptian soil became recently more common as a wave of unrest has hit the restive Sinai Peninsula since the 2011 EGYPT’S REVOLUTION and the collapse of Egypt’s law and order in Sinai. It would be the third such time since 2010 that militants in Egypt have fired rockets toward Israel (see -Aqaba 08.02.10). Sinai became in the last year a safe haven for many Al Qaeda inspired groups and a logistic and operational base for Gaza’s militants. including the ruling Hamas.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Thursday that Egypt’s Sinai desert is becoming a “terror zone” and vowed to strike at militants there. The tough talk, however, was tempered by Israel’s desire not to disturb the already fraught relationship with Egypt. Israeli officials acknowledged their options are limited as the new government in Egypt – one of Israel’s few allies in the Arab world – tries to secure its sovereignty over the mountainous Sinai Peninsula.

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