Egypt confirms rockets fired at border town came from Sinai

Cairo and Jerusalem to set up joint task force to determine circumstances of attack, Egyptian daily reports

Joshua Davidovich is The Times of Israel's Deputy Editor

A view of the smuggling tunnels area along the Egypt-Gaza border (photo credit:AP/Hatem Moussa)
A view of the smuggling tunnels area along the Egypt-Gaza border (photo credit:AP/Hatem Moussa)

The Egyptian military confirmed Wednesday night that four rockets that landed in Israel earlier in the day had been fired from the Sinai border town of Rafah.

Three of the rockets landed in an open agricultural area in the Eshkol region, while a fourth landed inside a nearby town. No injuries or damage were reported.

According to Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm, Israel and Egypt are setting up a joint committee to determine the circumstances surrounding the missile launches.

The area where the rockets landed is near both the Gaza Strip and the increasingly volatile Egyptian border, but Wednesday’s incident was the first time it has sustained fire. Most of the town’s residents formerly lived in the Gaza Strip, before the 2005 disengagement.

“I counted three or four [explosions],” said Zion Leshem, a father of four and area resident. One of the rockets landed several yards from Leshem’s olive grove, where his workers were picking.

Terror emanating from the Sinai has become increasingly worrying for both Israel and Egypt. In August, Cairo launched a large offensive against terror groups operating in the peninsula, after 16 policemen in Rafah were killed as part of an attempted attack on Israel.

There have been several cross-border shooting attacks and rocket launches over the last 18 months, leading the Israeli military to close the road running alongside the border.

The rocket launches came at the same time that Israel was kicking off a broad offensive against terror groups in the Gaza Strip, killing Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari. The Israeli strikes touched off a large volley of rockets at southern Israel that continued into Thursday morning.

It is not clear if the Rafah attacks were connected to the Israel Defense Forces’ activities in Gaza.

Most Popular
read more: