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Saturday, July 4, 2015

ISIS claims responsibility for the recent rocket attacks of Israel from Egyptian territory

Egyptian military positions in Sinai
(Image: RT)
Several rockets were launched from the territory of the restive Sinai Peninsula on the targets in Israel on Friday, 3 July. This attack followed one of the deadliest attacks of militants against Egyptian Armed Forces and police happened on Wednesday, 1 July, and followed by the massive military operation and Egyptian aerial strikes of the militants bases.

Sinai based jihadist group, affiliated with ISIS, Sinai Province (Vilayat Sinai), former Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for the rockets fired at the Israeli territory. 

"Three Grad rockets were fired at the Jewish positions on the occupied Palestinian territory," stated an ISIS affiliated group in its accounts in social media.

Israeli Armed Forces representatives declared that soldiers and police patrolling the area found the remnants of at least two missiles. Israeli officials state the rockets were fired from Egyptian territory, close to the borders with Gaza. 

No casualties or damages were reported.

Another round of rockets fire was reportedly fired on Israeli city of Ashkelon, on the South of the country, on Saturday, 4 July. No damages or casualties were reported as well.

Egyptian authorities in their turn deny that the rockets were fired from Egyptian territory.

Israeli Armed Forces stated that the rockets could be connected to the recent fierce battles between Egyptian military and jihadists and the following military operation, when 20 military and police checkpoints and positions were attacked simultaneously by the ISIS militants. 

The attack and the following military operation left 17 soldiers and policemen dead and 13 people injured, while unofficial sources tell about higher numbers, up to 70 soldiers and policemen dead and dozens injured. More than 100 militants were killed by Egyptian Army during the military operation and nearly 50 jihadists were reportedly killed during the following airstrikes carried out on Thursday and Friday.

Situation in Sinai remains extremely tense despite partial restoring the control of Egyptian army in some of the areas. Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, current Sinai Province of ISIS, have carried out numerous attacks against Egyptian military and security forces since ouster of Mohamed Morsi in 2013, though their attacks intensified significantly in the recent weeks.

Egypt deployed additional military troops to Sinai in order to eliminate terrorist activity in the area and to restore stability and security. This move was coordinated with Israel, according to the terms of the Camp David Accords.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials reportedly blame Gaza based Hamas for supporting ISIS on Egyptian territory and coordination if the recent attacks, an allehation that was denied by Hamas.