Eilat airport reopened after two rockets hit city; no casualties reported
The Iron Dome missile defense system in the city tracked the rockets but did not operate to shoot them down, the IDF said.
Two rockets fired from the Sinai Peninsula hit Eilat on Wednesday, the resort city in southern Israel, on the border with Egypt and Jordan. Police said no casualties or damage were reported.
The Iron Dome missile defense system in the city tracked the rockets but did not operate to shoot them down.
Just after 9:00 A.M. a siren was sounded throughout Eilat and police instructed residents to head to bomb shelters. Moments later residents reported hearing loud explosions. Police and military forces began searching for rocket debris.
Despite initial reports the Jordanian city of Aqaba was also targeted by rockets, Jordan denied it was hit, according to Reuters.
After thirty minutes, police found one small rocket which hit ground in a construction site in the south of Eilat, and another one that landed in an open area.
Immediately following the explosions, authorities closed off airspace over the city and rerouted a flight on its way to the resort city. The Eilat Airport has since been reopened.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who arrived in London early on Wednesday, spoke with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevy, who updated him on the latest developments.
Last August, an Iron Dome anti-missile system battery was positioned outside the city after Grad rockets were fired at Eilat.
Deploying the battery of rocket interceptors near Eilat was part of a process of testing the active defense system all over the country.
IDF Spokesman said at the time: “The Iron Dome system is in a process of testing, part of which involves positioning a battery from time to time in various locations around the country. As part of this program, the [system] is being deployed for testing near Eilat.”
The incident was likely to fuel Israeli concern about lawlessness in neighboring Sinai, where Islamist militants have stepped up their activities since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's downfall in 2011.