Four rockets ‘fired from Sinai’ hit southern Israel
JERUSALEM - Four explosions which hit a small Israeli community along the Egyptian border on Wednesday are believed to have been caused by rockets fired from Sinai, an Israeli security source said.
The incident took place in Bnei Netzarim which lies 1.5 kilometres (just under a mile) from the Egyptian border, and some five kilometres (three miles) from the southernmost tip of the Gaza Strip.
"A rocket was fired from Sinai towards Bnei Netzarim... without causing any injuries," he said initially, later adding there had been four explosions in total in the community.
"What we know for sure is that there were four explosions in Bnei Netzarim and there is a sense within the army that they were fired from Sinai and not from Gaza," he said.
The Israeli military could not immediately confirm the information.
Elisheva Yanki, a former Jewish settler in Gaza who left during the 2005 disengagement and moved to the community of Naveh next to Bnei Netzarim, confirmed hearing the explosions but could not say from where they came.
"These explosions took us straight back to the days when they used to fire on us in Gush Katif," she told the NRG news website, referring to what was once the main settlement bloc inside the Gaza Strip.
Since the collapse of the regime of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, Israel's border with Sinai has seen multiple security incidents, with militants using the lawless peninsula to stage attacks on Israel.
In September, an Israeli soldier was killed along with three militants who infiltrated from Sinai in a clash half-way along Israel's 240-kilometre (150 mile) border with Egypt.
And on August 5, Islamist militants ambushed an Egyptian security post, killing 16 border police before crashing an armoured vehicle and a truck through the Israeli border where they were killed by troops.
In June, at least three militants sneaked across the border and killed an Israeli construction worker, after which the army killed two of the gunmen as the third fled back to Egypt.
The most serious incident was in August 2011, when gunmen infiltrated southern Israel and staged a series of ambushes that killed eight Israelis.
There has also been intermittent rocket fire from Sinai over the past few years, most of which has targeted the southern resort city of Eilat on the Red Sea.
No Israelis have been injured by the rockets, although in August 2010, one landed in the Jordanian resort of Aqaba, killing a taxi driver.