´Over 10 terror cells have been exposed in two months in Sinai´ (ISRAEL HAYOM) Lilach Shoval, Shlomo Cesana and Ronit Zilberstein 04/06/12)
Israel Hayom Articles-Index-Top
Military Intelligence chief says terrorist groups strengthening their
hold in Sinai • IDF chief of staff warns: "The long arm of the state
of Israel eventually reaches anyone who wishes harm upon Israeli
citizens and the Jewish people."
Israeli security forces countrywide went on hight alert Friday, hours
ahead of the Passover, and a closure was imposed on the Palestinian
territories for the duration of the holiday. Police boosted their
presence on the roads, in Jerusalem, and in the southern resort city
of Eilat, which suffered a Grad rocket attack overnight Wednesday. In
a statement, the IDF Spokesperson´s Unit said the army has no
intelligence of impending attacks, but that the army would be on high
alert along the borders.
The IDF has expressed concern over recent events emanating from the
Sinai Peninsula, especially in the wake of Wednesday´s late night
rocket attack on Eilat, believed to have been launched from Egyptian
Director of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said on
Thursday that "over 10 terrorist cells have been exposed and
neutralized in the past two months, and the terror organizations
continue to establish themselves and strengthen their grip [in
The military intelligence chief, speaking at an IDF officer´s school
graduation ceremony, added that "the Middle East is undergoing
drastic changes. We have learned from experience that we must prepare
to overcome the security threats and instability that will
characterize the region in the coming years."
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, also speaking at the
IDF ceremony, called Wednesday´s rocket fire from inside Sinai "an
act of hate." During the award ceremony for officers who graduated
with distinction, the IDF chief of staff said, "The [attack] was
carried out by terror organizations operating in Sinai, and we are
treating these acts with the utmost seriousness. After we disrupted a
deadly terrorist attack aimed at Israel´s homefront, we received
rocket fire from Gaza, which Hamas is responsible for."
Gantz went on to say, "Those who plan and send others to carry out
hate and terrorist attacks should know that whether in Gaza, Lebanon
or anywhere else – the long arm of the state of Israel eventually
reaches anyone who wishes harm upon Israeli citizens and the Jewish
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke on Thursday at the 40-
year anniversary of the Sabena Airline hostage rescue operation, in
which he participated and was wounded, also commented on the rocket
fire from Sinai. "The Sinai Peninsula has been a terror camp for some
time already, a launching area for attacks against Israeli citizens,"
he said, adding that terrorists cannot be given immunity, "they must
simply be fought."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who held a joint meeting with the IDF
chief of staff and the heads of the intelligence and defense
community to assess the situation on Israel´s southern border,
emphasized that Israel will "hit the people who fired at Eilat and
tried to harm Israeli citizens. There will be no compromises on the
Meanwhile, tourists and visitors to Israel´s southernmost resort town
were taking recent events in their stride. "There hasn´t been even
one hotel cancellation," said CEO of the Eilat Hotel Association
Shabtai Shai. "People aren´t scared and are continuing to enjoy their
vacation," Shai said.
Remains from one of the rockets indicated it was a Grad-type rocket,
a medium-range projectile often used by terrorists in the Gaza Strip
and the Sinai Peninsula, Army Radio reported on Thursday.
Eilat residents heard the explosions just before dawn. "I heard a
whistling noise and then two incredibly loud explosions, right next
to my house. I saw a cloud of sand next to a construction site,"
Anat, an Eilat resident who didn´t want to give her last name, told
Dudi Turgeman, 24, heard the explosions just as he was parking his
car. "There was a loud boom and I immediately ducked. I saw a massive
cloud of dust and called the police," he said.
According to Army Radio, it took security forces time to confirm
whether rockets had in fact struck Eilat because the city does not
have an early-warning siren, unlike Israeli communities bordering the
An Egyptian security source in Cairo told Reuters on Thursday that
Egyptian forces were searching the area along the border but had not
found any evidence indicating rockets had been fired from Sinai.
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