Middle East

IS-linked group claims rocket attack on Israeli resort

An "Islamic State" (IS)-affiliated terrorist group claimed responsibility for firing rockets on Thursday towards Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat from Egypt's Sinai peninsula, an attack that Israel said caused no damage or casualties.

The "Sinai Province" group said it fired "a number of Grad rockets against gatherings of Zionist occupiers" in Eilat.

In an apparently unrelated incident several hours after the rockets were fired, two Palestinians were killed along Gaza's border with Egypt when a tunnel beneath the frontier was bombed, Gaza's Health Ministry said, blaming Israel. An Israeli military spokesperson said she had no information about an Israeli strike.

Israel's military said that one of the rockets launched from the Sinai towards Eilat landed harmlessly in an open area and the others were intercepted by its Iron Dome anti-missile system.

"What is coming is graver and more bitter," Sinai Province said on Telegram, an encrypted instant messaging system used by ISIS to communicate with followers.

IS-linked groups that are waging an insurgency against Egypt in the Sinai have claimed responsibility for past rocket attacks in the Eilat area.

Egypt, which has destroyed some 2,000 smuggling tunnels on the Gaza border, has accused the Palestinian enclave's Islamist ruling movement, Hamas, of aiding Islamic State-linked militants in the Sinai. Hamas denies the allegation.

The Israel-Gaza border has been largely quiet in recent months, but on Monday a Palestinian rocket launched from the enclave drew several Israeli strikes against Hamas targets.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Maayan Lubell and Omar Fahmy; Editing by Nick Macfie and Richard Lough; Reuters

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