Two rockets fired into Israel from Sinai, no injuries

Projectiles apparently launched by IS, coming after major attack on Egyptian forces

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Two rockets were fired at southern Israel from the Sinai Peninsula on Sunday night, likely by an affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group, the army said.

There were no immediate reports of injury or damage.

The two rockets were aimed at the southern Eshkol region, an area that abuts both the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, the army said.

A military spokesperson said one of them had been located in an open field near the communities of Magen and Ein Habasor, but that soldiers and police were still looking for the second.

A rocket that was fired from the Sinai Peninsula and landed in an open field in the Eshkol region on October 15, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

Eyal Rozen, a former IDF colonel who lives in Ein Habasor, said on Twitter that one projectile “fell right next to my house. There was a tremendous ‘boom.'”

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The IDF also did not immediately identify who launched the rockets, but it was likely a Sinai affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group.

The Sinai-based off-shoot has been waging a bloody war with Egyptian forces for years and has also occasionally directed its aggression toward Israel, launching rockets at nearby Jewish communities and in one case at the southern city of Eilat.

It was not immediately clear if Israel was specifically targeted or if this was a case of spillover fire from the intense fighting over the border between Islamic State terrorists and Egyptian troops.

On Sunday, members of the terrorist group carried out multiple attacks on six Egyptian checkpoints near the border, killing at least six soldiers and injuring dozens more.

Egyptian officials said the near-simultaneous attacks took place at and around the town of Sheikh Zweid, with dozens of militants using heavy machine guns and mortars. Apache helicopter gunships were called in to repel the attackers, said the officials.

An army statement said 24 of the attackers were killed and two SUVs they used were destroyed. The area was being combed by army troops in pursuit of the militants.

Last Thursday, six Egyptian policemen were killed in an attack in the northern Sinai region.

Occasionally, the terrorist group also launches rocket attacks at Israeli targets, in what many analysts believe to be shows of strength and attempts to score propaganda points.

In April, one rocket struck a greenhouse in the community of Yuval in the Eshkol region, slightly damaging the structure, but causing no injury.

Another rocket was launched at Israel by the terrorist group in May, but it struck an open field.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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