Brotherhood denies reports it ordered rocket fire at Israel

The Muslim Brotherhood has denied Israeli media reports that the group ordered a Hamas-allied Bedouin cell in the Sinai to launch rockets into southern Israel.

"Israel makes up lies to tarnish the image of the Brotherhood," said Brotherhood Shura Council member Sayed Nazily. "We had nothing to do with this."

Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud said Israel is trying to weaken the chances of the group’s candidate in the presidential election runoff by fabricating such claims. "We pay no attention to what the Israeli media says," he said.

Haaretz newspaper on Saturday said rockets that landed on Friday in the area near Ovda and Mitzpeh Ramon in Israel "were launched after a request by senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt."

The paper also said that, "Officials say that due to the elections in Egypt, the IDF will react moderately, even though it will continue monitoring rocket launching at areas that were not targeted before."

Earlier on Sunday, AFP quoted a senior Israeli security source as saying that the two rockets were linked to the Egyptian presidential election.

"The rockets fired at Israel over the weekend were a one-off and carried out by those who wanted to influence the Egyptian presidential election," the source said, referring to militant groups in the Sinai.

Senior Israeli defense ministry official Amos Gilad ruled out any involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood in an interview with Israel's army radio.

"The Muslim Brotherhood wants to change the face of the Middle East and doesn't get involved in attacks," he said.

"Many extremist elements operate in Sinai with the support of Iran and Hezbollah, and we are investigating who was behind the firing," he said.

"We want to preserve peaceful relations with Egypt. It is in our interest and also in theirs."

Israeli sappers on Saturday recovered the debris of two rockets, both of which landed near towns and villages in the far south of the country, police and the army said.

Police said they responded to two reports of explosions at around 1 am on Saturday, one in the Negev desert and the second in the Arava desert not far from the Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

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