Iron Dome intercepts rocket bound for Eilat

Eilat at night (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90/File)

Eilat at night (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90/File)

Al-Qaeda-linked group targeted by reported Israeli drone strike claims responsibility for attack; three residents treated for shock

August 13, 2013, 1:47 am Updated: August 13, 2013, 2:36 am | Times of Israel

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a Grad rocket bound for the southern Israeli city of Eilat overnight Monday. It was Iron Dome’s first successful interception since the battery’s recent deployment in the area.

Warning sirens blared and residents reported hearing two explosions shortly after midnight in the Israeli Red Sea resort town. Three people were treated for shock by Magen David Adom. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Palestinian sources reported early morning Tuesday that a Muslim terrorist group operating in the Sinai Peninsula was responsible for the attack. Ansar Bait al-Maqdis is the same al-Qaeda-linked group that was targeted on Friday by what was reported to be an Israeli drone.

Initially, Israeli media outlets reported that three rockets were fired at Eilat. After a search, the IDF found no traces of debris from any additional rockets in the area.

Friday’s alleged drone strike, which killed four and destroyed a rocket launcher, came on the heels of a warning from Egyptian security officials, who reportedly conveyed to Israel that jihadists in the Sinai were planning imminent attacks against Israeli targets.

That warning may have prompted the closure Thursday of the airport in Eilat.

A high-level Egyptian military official said Salafi groups had come into possession of missiles with a range of 70 kilometers and intended to target the airport and other Israeli targets, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported Friday.

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