IDF Confirms Object Found Off Coast of Eilat Is Grad Rocket

Divers had spotted the suspicious object earlier Saturday; police suspect three rockets were fired Thursday.

The Israel Defense Forces has confirmed that the suspicious object found by two Israeli divers early Saturday morning off the shores of Eilat was a Grad rocket fired on Thursday.

After the divers spotted the rocket, police closed off the area, which is near diving reefs that attract many tourists close to the border with Egypt. The area has since been reopened.

Initial reports on Thursday confirmed that two rockets had been fired towards Eilat, yet the landing location on Israeli territory was not discovered. It was the first time a rocket was fired at the resort town in almost five years.

Jordanian officials confirmed on Thursday that the two rockets, probably Soviet truck-mounted 122-mm Grad-class Katyushas, were launched at about 5 A.M. and that one struck a refrigerated warehouse on the outskirts of Aqaba.

Police suspected Saturday that the rocket found off the shores was the third rocket fired, as opposed to initial reports of only two.

After combing the area, security forces ruled out a landing in Israeli territory. Military sources say the rockets were probably launched from northern Sinai, a few kilometers from the Israeli border.

So far no one has accepted responsibility for the attacks, however, officials have estimated that the attack could have been executed by Muslim extremists affiliated with al-Qaida.