Two Grad rockets fired at Eilat

No injuries reported as missiles hit open area near southern resort city

The city of Eilat. (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
The city of Eilat. (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Two Grad rockets were fired at the Red Sea resort town of Eilat Monday evening, striking an open area close to the city.

Initial reports had indicated the blasts were centered near the Le-Meridian hotel in the city’s crowded waterfront area.

The cause of the explosions was not immediately known, and Israel Defense Forces troops were dispatched to the area to search for the source of the blasts.

The explosions came just as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was finishing a speech at Israel’s Knesset.

Rockets have targeted the Eilat before, usually overshooting the city or landing outside the populated area.

Israeli officials have warned of a possible escalation in violence with Palestinian militants out of Gaza, after the last week saw an uptick in rocket attacks.

On Sunday, an Israeli strike seriously injured three people, including a member of Islamic Jihad.

Earlier in the day, an Iron Dome anti-missile battery was moved near the city of Beersheba to protect it against rocket attacks. Students who attend schools without rocket protection in the coastal city of Ashdod were told to stay home Monday, signs that the military excpects Gazan militants to strike back.

If rockets were fired at Eilat, they likely originated in the Sinai Peninsula, a largely lawless area that has been the source of rocket fire before. Egyptian troops are operating in the north of the peninsula with Israel’s blessing, a military source told the Times of Israel on Monday.

The summer saw a number of rocket attacks on the city, one of which was shot down by Iron Dome.

In 2010, a series of rockets fired from Sinai overshot Eilat and landed in Aqaba, Jordan, killing one person and injuring five more.

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