|Eilat's north beach area [Image Source]|
Israel's cutting-edge Iron Dome defense system intercepted a rocket heading for Eilat around 9:30 on Friday night, the Jewish Sabbath. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit, quoted by Ynet, says the Tzeva Adom ("Color Red") incoming missile alert siren was heard throughout Israel's southern-most city after security forces detected an Israel-bound launch in the Sinai Peninsula. A Jerusalem Post report says there was a mid-air intercept by the Israeli system and two separate explosions were heard on the ground. A remarkably laconic Reuters report from Friday night echoes the part about the terrorist rocket being stopped.
Tonight, there's a report that the Salafi terrorists of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis have claimed credit for the thwarted attack. AFP reported that the jihadists, who executed the same sort of attack in the same area on January 20, 2014 [see "21-Jan-14: Eilat under rocket attack tonight"], "threatened to follow Friday's foiled rocket fire with further attacks". Untroubled by the need to adopt Western-style pretence at painting their evil in quasi-political language, the Ansar statement quoted by AFP says in blunt terrorist terms:
"Jews, you have to know that nothing will stop us from fighting you, even if the entire world's armies move on your instructions. If they create a barrier between us and you, with God's help and strength, we will get you and kill you."These are the same people who are behind the mass attacks on Egyptians that we looked at here last week: 26-Jan-14: Sinai's terror problems are now Cairo's nightmares.
There's more in-depth coverage of those terrorists from David Barnett on the Threat Matrix/Long War Journal site where he follows Ansar's activities closely.
And a slightly bizarre background note to the mid-air intercept aspect of this report. On Thursday, a day before this latest rocket attack on Eilat, that same Iron Dome installation was the target of a strange assault. According to Israel National News, an Arab male ran at the soldier guarding the anti-missile battery, screaming “Allahu Akbar” (“G-d is great” in Arabic).
Fearing a terrorist attack, the soldiers shot at the man’s legs in order to stop him. The man was hit and injured. He was taken to Eilat’s Yoseftal Hospital. It is not yet clear whether the man is armed and was attempting a terrorist attack, or is mentally ill. [Israel National News]