DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 17, 2014, 10:23 AM (GMT+02:00)
The bus carrying South Korean tourists from Egypt to Israel was rigged as a time bomb for Eilat, debkafile reveals. It blew up prematurely in Egyptian Sinai, killing three South Korean tourists and the Egyptian driver, and injuring fourteen, Sunday, Feb. 16 - shortly before the bus crossed into Israel. An explosion in downtown Eilat would have afforded the al Qaeda-linked Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis its first multi-casualty terrorist hit inside an Israeli town. Serious lapses were exposed in Egyptian security. North Korea voiced shock and outrage over the terrorist attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 1, 2014, 1:58 PM (GMT+02:00)
Eilat come under missile attack from Sinai every few days, like Gaza’s Israeli neighbors - harmlessly thus far. But the Red Sea tourist resort is paying for Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yaalon’s short-sighted policy of security and intelligence cooperation with Egypt’s Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. Direct action against Gaza and Sinai terror has passed into Egyptian hands. This gap in Israel’s security has been seized on by the Islamist Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorists to take the country hostage against El-Sisi’s counter-terror offensive.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 10, 2013, 10:15 AM (GMT+02:00)
The missile launcher destroyed by an Israeli drone in North Sinai Friday, Aug. 9 was capable of firing 4 heavy Iranian-made M-75 missiles known as Fajr-5, which Hamas possesses, but not Sinai Salafists. Its 75 kilometer range covers Tel Aviv from Gaza Strip or Eilat from inland Sinai. The five terrorists planning to fire them at Eilat airport Thursday were later killed in the drone strike. An Egyptian intelligence tip-off to Israel saved Eilat. Two years ago, Fajr-5 proved its high accuracy by leveling a building in Rishon Lezion near Tel Aviv.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 17, 2013, 9:12 PM (GMT+02:00)
In case of a follow-up attack, Eilat’s bomb shelters wee opened after five long-range Grad missiles were aimed from Sinai at the city Wednesday, April 17. The attack was claimed by an al Qaeda-linked Salafist group operating in Sinai and the Gaza Strip – the Shura Council of Jihad fighters of Jerusalem. It was not intercepted by Iron Dome. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon updated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – who is in London for the Margaret Thatcher funeral – and discussed with him how Israel should respond.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 20, 2012, 9:04 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israel has asked the Obama administration to intervene with Cairo for the removal of Egyptian tanks deployed in Sinai without permission, fearing they are there to stay. This issue has become tangled up in broader issues: President Mohamed Morsi hints that substantial US economic aid is the key to the tanks’ removal, the launch of a major Egyptian offensive on al Qaeda-linked Sinai terrorists and his refusal of an invitation to visit Tehran. Israel has posted an Iron Dome battery in Eilat against more missile strikes from Sinai.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 10, 2011, 2:01 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel's targeted killing Thursday Dec. 8 of Ismail Batash, commander of the "Army of Believers" (a Hamas terrorist front group), may have done more harm than good. Aside from triggering a hail of Palestinian missiles against Israel, debkafile's sources report it strengthened the Hamas-Salafist Bedouin pact in northern Sinai and is speeding up the transfer there of Hamas' terrorist infrastructure from Gaza – out of Israel's reach. The terrorist peril to southern Israel, including Eilat, has mounted, while the IDF's hands are tied.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 18, 2011, 7:03 PM (GMT+02:00)
Thursday, August 18, Israel had its first taste of a sophisticated al Qaeda-style coordinated terrorist attack modeled on the atrocities common in Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel's intelligence services, army (IDF) and police were taken by surprise by the scale and slick organization of the multiple assaults staged near Eilat on the highway running south parallel to the Egyptian border by gunmen of the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees and Palestinian organizations linked to al Qaeda. Defense Minister Barak: "Gaza is the source of the terror."
DEBKAfile Special Report August 18, 2011, 4:47 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel goes on highest terror alert after a string of terrorist attacks still ongoing near the Israeli-Egyptian border north of Eilat Thursday, Aug. 18 left seven Israeli soldiers and civilians dead and 33 injured. Five servicemen are in critical condition. Assailants from Sinai used automatic and anti-tank weapons, mortars and roadside bombs for attacks on two buses and civilian and military vehicles on Highway 12. All three gunmen who attacked the bus were located and killed in a firefight with Israeli police. More are sought.