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Group tied to al-Qaida says it fired on Eilat

JTA

August 13, 2013 | 10:20 am

An Arkia Airlines plane taking off from the Eilat Airport. Five days after the airport was shut down due to security threats, the resort city was targeted for a rocket attack from the Sinai Desert. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90

An Arkia Airlines plane taking off from the Eilat Airport. Five days after the airport was shut down due to security threats, the resort city was targeted for a rocket attack from the Sinai Desert. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90

A jihadist group affiliated with al-Qaida claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Eilat.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted the rocket fired early Tuesday morning by the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, which operates in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, from the Sinai near the Israel border.

The Iron Dome battery was moved to the Eilat area about a month ago.

The Mujahideen Shura Council in its statement claiming responsibility said the attack was carried out to avenge the deaths of four jihadi terrorists on Friday in a drone attack in the Sinai. The attack was blamed on Israel, though Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility.

“Eilat and other Jewish towns will not be enjoying security, tourism or economy. Jews will pay for the blood of the jihad fighters,” the statement said.

Israeli authorities late last week ordered the closure of the Eilat airport for several hours following a warning from Egyptian security services about a possible attack, according to reports.

Hotels in Eilat, a major tourist destination for Israelis and Europeans, are nearly filled at this time of year.

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