Two Grad rockets found in southern Israel

Rockets land near Eilat and Mitzpeh Ramon; officials reportedly pin blame on Brotherhood

Two Grad rockets were fired into southern Israel Friday and discovered by security personnel Saturday. Officials beleive the rockets originated in the Sinai peninsula.

One rocket landed north of Eilat in the Elot region, while the other, discovered later in the day, landed near the town of Mitzpeh Ramon.

No damage or injuries were reported in either incident.

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The Grad rocket that landed in the Elot region traveled at least 25 kilometers, Israeli officials said Saturday, making it the furthest incursion a rocket has made from Sinai into Israel.

The rocket was discovered early Saturday morning in an open area. Much of the Elot region is barren desert, with only a few towns.

Israel reportedly conveyed concerns over the rocket fire to Egyptian authorities, but played down the incident because it coincides with Egypt’s sensitive presidential election vote this weekend.

A senior Egyptian security official, speaking to Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm on Saturday, denied that the rocket fire had originated in the Sinai. He said “the Israeli claims are intended to hurt the security situation in the Sinai and to influence the presidential elections.”

The Haaretz daily, quoting Israeli security officials, reported that the attack was carried out by a Bedouin squad under Hamas orders, after the Muslim Brotherhood requested the rocket launching.

Israeli security officials had earlier said they were not ruling out the possibility that the rocket was fired from Jordan.

Rockets have been fired in the Red Sea resort of Eilat from the Sinai in the past. In 2010, five rockets were fired at Eilat, with several overshooting Israeli territory and one killing a Jordanian in neighboring Aqaba.

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