Israel's Iron Dome intercepts 3 rockets fired at Eilat by Islamic State affiliate


An aerial view of the Israeli city of Eilat Oct. 21, 2015. Credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Four rockets were fired Wednesday night at the southern Israeli city of Eilat. The Iron Dome defense system battery stationed in that city intercepted three projectiles, while the fourth exploded in an open area, causing no harm.

A Sinai-based Salafi terrorist group affiliated with Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Wednesday's incident took place at 10:55 p.m. Israel time as sirens wailed across the popular resort city, sending residents and vacationers scrambling for shelter.

Eilat's police received more than 300 calls from concerned citizens and alarmed tourists. Four people suffered shock and were treated in the city's Yoseftal Medical Center. Security forces canvassed the area for rocket fragments, one of which was later found in the pool of one of the city's hotels.

On Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces adamantly denied Arab media reports alleging that the Israeli Air Force had struck a terror tunnel in the Rafah area, on the Gaza-Egypt border, following the rocket fire at Eilat.

The Qatar-based Al Jazeera news network reported that two people were killed and five injured in the alleged Israeli strike. A Gaza Health ministry spokesman was quoted as saying that two men were "martyred and five other people were wounded as a result of being targeted by an Israeli warplane along the Palestinian-Egyptian border."

Later Thursday, Palestinian media quoted a security source as saying the casualties were the result of a blast inside the tunnel, which the source admitted was used to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

The Egyptian military said Thursday that it has destroyed six tunnel openings on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border, and that 15 people were arrested during the operation.

Posted on February 9, 2017 .