Source: Associated Press
By IAN DEITCH
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel closed its Taba border crossing to the Sinai peninsula on Monday following warnings by its anti-terrorism office of an “imminent” militant attack there and urged its citizens to leave Egypt hours before the start of the Passover holiday, when Sinai is a popular destination for many secular Israelis.
Soon after the announcement, sirens wailed in parts of southern Israel alerting residents to a rocket attack. The military said a rocket fired from Sinai exploded in southern Israel, hitting a greenhouse but causing no injuries. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Yisrael Katz, Israel’s transportation and intelligence minister, said in a statement Monday there was intel regarding a potential “terror attack” against tourists in the Sinai peninsula. The crossing remains open for those wanting to return from Egypt.
The border closure comes a day after militants in Egypt bombed two churches, killing dozens of Christian worshippers during Palm Sunday ceremonies. In the wake of those attacks, Israel’s anti-terrorism office called on all Israeli tourists in Sinai to return home immediately and asked Israelis planning trips to the Sinai to cancel.