Jordan condemned Monday the firing of a rocket that struck near the Intercontinental Hotel in Aqaba in which a Jordanian man was killed and four others were injured. The rocket was one of six which struck the area, including a second rocket in Jordan, one near Eilat, two in the Red Sea and one in the Sinai Peninsula. In a statement released by the Jordanian Information Ministry the rocket attack was called a “terror attack.” Jordan promised to continue in its war against terror.
A Jordanian taxi driver injured in the attack died of his wounds Monday. The rockets were almost definitely fired from Sinai, according to sources in the defense establishment quoted by Israel Radio.
The rockets were suspected to have been launched from the Sinai Peninsula by Islamic Jihad, however Egyptian officials denied the assessment. “No rockets were launched from the Sinai,” said Egyptian sources. “To launch rockets from Egypt, it takes equipment and complicated logistical preparations. It is impossible, since the Sinai Peninsula has heavy security.”
BBC Arabic reported that Egyptian security forces were scouring the area around Taba and Nuweiba, but had found no sign of a rocket launch. Eilat Police sappers said that the Grad-type Katyushas were Iranian-made, with a range of some 20 kilometers. The rockets reportedly weighed 6 kilograms each. According to an IDF statement, soldiers were scouring the area to determine the source of the attacks, which was unclear. The IDF was in contact with the Jordanian and Egyptian armies regarding the incident.
Rocket attacks in Eilat are rare but not unheard of, with two attacks having occurred in the last five years. In April, two rockets fired landed in Eilat and the adjacent Jordanian port of Aqaba. In 2005 a rocket fired from Jordan landed next to the Eilat airport and two others missed a US Navy vessel docked at the nearby Jordanian port of Aqaba. No one was reported hurt.
A group linked with al- Qaida claimed responsibility for the attack. In January 2007, a deadly attack by a Palestinian suicide bomber in Eilat killed three men working at a bakery. Both Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyrs claimed responsibility for the attack.