JERUSALEM – Explosions rocked the southern Israeli city of Eilat late Wednesday, and the military said it suspected that rockets were fired from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. No casualties or damage were reported.
Eilat is a Red Sea resort next to Sinai, scene of many militant attacks in recent months. On Aug. 5, Sinai militants killed 16 Egyptian soldiers where the borders of Egypt, Israel and Gaza converge. Then they stole Egyptian army vehicles and crashed into Israel, where Israeli forces stopped them with gunfire.
Eilat has been the target of previous rocket attacks, apparently from Sinai. Israel has expressed concern about extremist Islamists and Palestinian militants from Gaza operating there.
The military said rockets were apparently fired from Sinai at Eilat. Soldiers searched the area for several hours after the blasts were heard, but no exploded rockets were found. There was no immediate comment from Egypt.
The Israeli military said its forces would resume their searches Thursday morning.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Jihadi groups in Sinai have declared that their goal is to attack Israel, while rejecting charges that they were responsible for the bloody assault on Egyptian soldiers.
A year ago, gunmen thought to be Palestinians who crossed into Sinai through tunnels from Gaza attacked Israeli vehicles near Eilat, killing eight Israelis. While chasing the gunmen, Israeli soldiers killed six Egyptian troops by mistake, setting off a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
There have been repeated demands in Egypt for revision of the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty, which limits the type and number of Egyptian forces near the border, to allow Egypt to take back control of the lawless desert from the militants.
Israel has already agreed to allow several thousand Egyptian soldiers into the border area, and Egypt says its forces have been battling militants since The Aug. 5 assault on the border post.