A missile attack on Israel’s popular Red Sea resort of Eilat Tuesday morning prompted deployment of the military’s vaunted Iron Dome defense – and has raised new fears Egypt’s army can’t contain the violence in the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula.
Although no one was killed and one of the three missiles was intercepted, the attack is viewed as a significant escalation in the activity of Islamist terror groups in Sinai, many of whom are affiliated with Al Qaeda. Under the recently deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, security in Sinai deteriorated, allowing groups such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis – which claimed responsibility for the Eilat attack – to flourish. They have been targeting the provisional Egyptian government, but now could be taking on Israel, too.
“This was a response to the latest crimes by the Jews, who used a drone to attack and kill four of our fighters in Sinai,” read a statement in Arabic from Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. “The attack sowed fear among the criminal Jews, who were forced into underground bomb shelters.” Read more here.