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One person injured in drone explosion at school in Eilat

A 20-year-old man suffered smoke inhalation.

Damage at the Tze’elim Elementary School in Eilat following a drone explosion, Nov. 9, 2023. Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson's Unit.
Damage at the Tze’elim Elementary School in Eilat following a drone explosion, Nov. 9, 2023. Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson's Unit.

A drone caused a large explosion at an elementary school in Eilat on Thursday afternoon, injuring one civilian, reported the Israel Defense Forces.

“A UAV hit a civilian building in the city of Eilat in southern Israel. The identity of the UAV and the details of the incident are under review,” said the IDF.

A 20-year-old man suffered from smoke inhalation and was evacuated to the city’s Yoseftal Medical Center, the Magen David Adom emergency response service said. In addition, paramedics treated five people suffering from anxiety.

“A short time ago, there was an explosion at the Tze’elim School in Eilat,” said Education Minister Yoav Kisch in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Those present at the school at the time of the explosion were special-education students who were in the bomb shelter, said Kisch.

“I spoke with the mayor of Eilat, Eli Lankri, and with officials of the Ministry of Education in the city and they updated me on the details and the steps being taken,” he added.

Lankri ordered the cancelation of all after-school activities set to take place on Thursday, the Eilat Municipality announced.

On Thursday evening, Israel’s Arrow air-defense system intercepted a missile launched towards the Jewish state from the “Red Sea area,” IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari said.

“The target did not cross into Israeli territory,” added Hagari.

Some two hours later, a Patriot missile interceptor battery in the south intercepted another “suspicious target” before it crossed into Israeli territory, the IDF said.

In a statement posted to X, a Houthi military spokesman subsequently announced the militia “launched a batch of ballistic missiles at various sensitive targets of the Israeli entity … including military targets in the Umm al-Rashrash area (Eilat).

“The operation successfully achieved its objectives and led to direct casualties on the specified targets, despite the enemy’s secrecy about it,” claimed the spokesman.

Israel bolstered its naval presence in the Red Sea area last week following repeated missile and drone attacks from Yemen.

The IDF said that missile boats were deployed “in accordance with the assessment of the situation, and as part of the increased defense efforts in the region.”

On Oct. 31, the Arrow system for the first time intercepted a surface-to-surface missile fired from the Red Sea area.

A spokesperson for Yemen’s Ansar Allah, the official title of the Houthi movement, confirmed the terrorist group had fired ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as drones, at Israel.

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