Grad explodes near Eilat residential area; search continues for more rockets (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Revital Levy-Stein,Gili Cohen and Yanir Yagna 04/05/12)
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A grad rocket exploded near a residential area in the southern
Israeli city of Eilat early on Thursday morning.
No injuries or damage were reported, but some Eilat residents were
reportedly suffering from shock.
Security forces found traces of the rocket near a building site in
the Shahamon neighborhood early on Thursday morning, about 150 meters
from a residential area, after strong explosions shook the city
approximatley twenty minutes after midnight on Wednesday.
Security forces continued to search for traces of more rockets,
thought to have been fired toward the city from the Sinai Peninsula.
Ron Gertner, police commander for the Eilat district, said that,
according to estimates, "the rocket was fired from the Sinai area,"
adding that “investigations will continue in the morning, and only
after their completion will we be able to reach any final
Eilat resident Yossi Atia, who immigrated to Israel from France 16
years ago, was the person who found the rocket traces. He said he
heard the explosion when he was in his house, about 150 meters from
where the rocket exploded.
“My wife shouted,” he said, “I went out and looked for traces of the
rocket,” he said. “I searched for forty minutes with torches until I
found [the traces].” After finding the remains of the rocket, he
called the police.
Many city residents came out of their houses when they heard the
explosions . R., a resident of the Shahamon neighbourhood in Eilat,
said that they heard a loud noise about twenty minutes after
midnight. "I heard two explosions that shook the area," R.
said. "After that, a strong and unusual smell started to spread, not
something that I can define."
The most recent incident of terrorism in the Eilat area took place in
August 2011, when eight people were killed and dozens wounded in a
series of attacks on Israeli targets approximately 20 kilometers
north of Eilat.
In August 2010, five grad rockets fired from Egypt exploded in the
Eilat area and in Aqaba in Jordan. One Jordanian man was killed by
the rocket fire.
A senior security official said last month that several terror groups
are now at large in the Sinai. These groups include local Bedouin,
who are adopting the ideology of the Global Jihad; groups supported
by Iran, who are trying to recruit and train militants not only in
Sinai but throughout Egypt; and Palestinian organizations. Joining
them are Global Jihad militants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and
Saudi Arabia, according to the official. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz
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