Israel closes border with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula after deadly churches attacks
Apr 13 2017
In 2015, IS militants downed a Russian airliner over the Sinai region, killing all 224 people on board, most of whom were Russian tourists.
Egypt's military intelligence chief, Gen. Mohamed Farag al-Shahhat, said during a military-held symposium in February that at least 500 terrorists have been killed since a massive anti-terror campaign, known as "The Martyr's Right", started in September 2015.
Israeli authorities chose to close the Taba border crossing between Israel and Egypt due to the threat of the possible terror attack in the Sinai Peninsula after Sunday's deadly attacks in northern Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria, media reported Monday.
Minutes after the ban was announced on Monday, the Israeli military said a rocket was launched from the Sinai and struck southern Israel, causing no injuries.
A police spokesman said that bomb disposal experts had searched the area and that police units were at the scene. The greenhouse was lightly damaged by the rocket. While no one was injured, a 50-year-old man was treated for an anxiety attack.
Meanwhile, Israeli security officials advised Israeli tourists in the neighbouring Sinai peninsula in Egypt to return home immediately.
Thousands of Israelis had been expected to cross into the Sinai Peninsula for the Passover holiday.
The closure was ordered by Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, after consultation with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and other security officials, according to the ministry's statement.
The Israeli government shut down its border crossing with Egypt Monday in response to a threat of a terrorist attack.
Israeli authorities warned of "increased activity by Islamic State militants" in Sinai.
The Egyptian authorities declared a three-month state of emergency following the deadly church attacks, which were swiftly claimed by Daesh.
"The fatal terrorist attacks which took place today reflect once again the terror capability of the Islamic State", the anti-terror bureau said in a statement on Sunday.