Arab media reports Israel hit targets in Sinai after rocket attack

Source: Arab media reports Israel hit targets in Sinai after rocket attack | The Times of Israel

Qatari newspaper, citing ‘tribal sources,’ says strike followed Egyptian targeting of Islamic State in the area

Illustrative: An Israel Air Force F-16 takes off. (Ofer Zidon/Flash90)

Tribal sources in the Sinai Peninsula said Israeli planes attacked targets in the Egyptian territory a short time after rockets were fired into Israel, the Hebrew language Ynet website reported Tuesday citing the Qatar-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed media outlet.

The alleged attacks were in the area of Rafah and Sheikh Zweid in northern Sinai, and came shortly after the firing of two rockets on Sunday night that landed in the Eshkol region of Israel causing no damage or injuries. The Islamic State group took responsibility for the attacks on Monday.

There was no other source for the claims and Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said that the alleged IAF attack came after an airstrike by the Egyptian air force against the IS presence in the area, Ynet reported. Israel has not indicated or confirmed that it had responded to the rocket attack in any way.

IS often claims that Israel is assisting its opponents or directly targeting its forces in Syria.

The IS announcement that it had fired the two rockets was made by the Amaq News Agency, which is affiliated with the terror group.

IS claimed that during clashes with Egyptian forces, “Jewish” aircraft were assisting Egypt’s security forces and that it fired rockets at the Eshkol region in Israel in retaliation.

The two rockets struck areas inside the southern Eshkol region, an area that abuts both the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, the IDF said at the time.

A military spokesperson said one of the missiles had been located in an open field near the communities of Magen and Ein Habesor, but that soldiers and police were still looking for the second.

The Sinai-based offshoot of Islamic State has been waging a bloody war with Egyptian forces for years and has also occasionally directed its attacks at Israel, launching rockets at nearby Jewish communities and in one case at the southern city of Eilat.

On Sunday, members of the terrorist group carried out multiple attacks on six Egyptian checkpoints near the border, killing at least six soldiers and injuring dozens more.

Egyptian officials said the near-simultaneous attacks took place at and around the town of Sheikh Zweid, with dozens of fighters using heavy machine guns and mortars. Apache helicopter gunships were called in to repel the attackers, said the officials.

An army statement said 24 of the attackers were killed and two SUVs they used were destroyed. The area was being combed by army troops in pursuit of the gunmen.

Last Thursday, six Egyptian policemen were killed in an attack in the northern Sinai region.

Occasionally, the terrorist group also launches rocket attacks at Israeli targets, in what many analysts believe to be shows of strength and attempts to score propaganda points.

In April, one rocket struck a greenhouse in the community of Yuval in the Eshkol region, slightly damaging the structure, but causing no injuries.

Another rocket was launched at Israel by the terrorist group in May, but it struck an open field.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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