Netanyahu Vows to Retaliate for Eilat Attack
Israel will “extract a price” from those who launched the terror attack against the Red Sea resort town of Eilat last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Sunday.
The statement made it clear that Israel has decided to draw a line in the sand for terrorists from Gaza – and elsewhere -- operating against the Jewish State from the Sinai Peninsula.
Last Wednesday, the Mujahedeen Shura Council, a Salafi jihadist group claimed responsibility for firing two Grad Katyusha missiles at Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula and triggering activation of the Color Red rocket alert system in the city.
One of the missiles landed in a building site, the other in the backyard of a private home. No one was physically injured, and no property damage was reported.
A senior member of an unnamed Salafi terror group in Gaza was quoted by the London-based Arabic daily A-Sharq al-Awsat on Friday as saying that rocket fire aimed at Eilat is part of the Islamic concept of jihad (holy war) and will not stop.
Salafi Muslim groups, he said, are not obligated by the Egyptian-brokered cease fire between Israel and the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza following last November’s IDF Pillar of Defense counter terror operation.
Likud Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon toured Eilat just hours after the Grad attack on the city, visiting the neighborhood struck by one of the missiles and speaking to the residents. Although the Iron Dome anti-missile system correctly identified the missiles as they approached the city, Danon said, the battery did not activate. The minister added that the matter was under investigation.
Home Front Command has announced that it will hold a five-day defense exercise in Eilat beginning on Sunday, to include the opening of public bomb shelters and implementation of rescue operations.
Israeli planes departing from the Red Sea resort town will soon be armed with anti-missile systems, according to a report broadcast last week on Israeli television’s Channel 2.
Israel is installing the equipment on civilian aircraft to counter the threat of shoulder-carried anti-aircraft missiles that could be fired from the Sinai Peninsula, according to the report.
Speaking at the opening of the regular weekly government cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said, “Israel will extract a price from what would appear to be Gaza terrorists operating from the Sinai who are responsible for the rocket attack on Eilat.
"We will not accept this and we will exact a price -- this has been our consistent policy the past four years and it will serve us in this case as well," the prime minister said.
Late last night Gaza terrorists again launched a rocket attack against southern Israel, striking the Eshkol Regional Council district.
The Color Red air raid siren activated prior to the attack, waking parents an hour after midnight and forcing them to drag children from their beds with a window of 15 seconds to race for shelter before the rocket landed.
No one was physically injured, and no property damaged was reported.
Two similar attacks occurred Thursday at about 11:00 p.m., but residents did not have the benefit of any warning at all, as the Color Red rocket alert warning system failed to activate for some reason.
Miraculously, no one was injured and no damage was reported.