Ansar Jerusalem claims new rocket attack on Eilat

Ansar Jerusalem issued a statement today claiming responsibility for the firing of two rockets toward the southern Israeli city of Eilat. The statement, titled “Firing Two Grad Rockets at the Occupied City of Umm al- Rashrash (Eilat),” was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

The group’s statement said that the two Grad rockets fired last night targeted “fuel tanks and a residential area in the city.” Israeli authorities have thus far failed to find any remnants of the alleged rockets, according to the Jerusalem Post.

“As usual, the Jews intentionally covered up the matter and their losses,” Ansar Jerusalem said.

The Salafi jihadist group also warned that “our attacks and jihad against them [the Jews] will never stop for any circumstance, and that the situation in Egypt in which the Jews have the long-hand in inciting, will never stop the wheel of jihad at all.”

The last rocket attack against Eilat took place in April and was carried out by the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem.

Although Eilat has not normally been a target of rocket fire from terror groups in the region, it has increasingly come under fire during the past two years. On Nov. 20, 2012, Ansar Jerusalem claimed to have fired rockets at Eilat, according to a statement that was obtained and translated by SITE. The same group also took responsibility for a rocket attack on Eilat in mid-August 2012.

Ansar Jerusalem

Ansar Jerusalem is thought to be behind most of the recent attacks originating from the Sinai, according to Israeli intelligence. The group, which is said to recruit within Egypt and abroad, has claimed credit for a number of attacks against Israel over the past year, including the attack on Sept. 21.

The deadliest attack was the Aug. 18, 2011 assault on a bus traveling near the border with Egypt in Eilat, which resulted in the deaths of eight Israelis and at least seven terrorists. Three Egyptian security personnel were also accidentally killed in the crossfire. In addition, Ansar Jerusalem has taken credit for a number of attacks against the Arish-Ashkelon natural gas pipeline as well as a number of rocket attacks against Israel.

On Oct. 15, the group threatened to attack Israel for the targeted killing of Abu al Walid al Maqdisi, the former emir of the Tawhid and Jihad Group in Jerusalem, and Ashraf al Sabah, the former emir of Ansar al Sunnah. The two men were said to be leaders of the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem.

On Jan. 11, a video released by Ansar Jerusalem stated: “Here in Egypt, the fortress of the Ummah, the light of victory has begun to shine, and the light of dawn has appeared in the horizon. The Ummah has begun preparing for the moment to attack the occupying entity and get rid of its evil.”

In March, the group issued a statement during President Obama’s visit to Israel, which it called a “cancerous tumor.” The jihadist group said that the visit’s timing “has important implications” and accused “America and the Crusader West” of intervening in the so-called Arab Spring “to change the natural direction of these blessed revolutions, and prevented the Muslim peoples from achieving their true freedom and implementing their Islamic Shariah.”

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