Rocket fired from Sinai hits Israel hours after border crossing closed


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A rocket fired from Sinai landed on a greenhouse in southern Israel near the Gaza border hours after Israel closed its border with Egypt, citing fear of an imminent attack.

The rocket was fired on Monday morning, causing Code Red alerts to sound in several Israeli communities on the border with Gaza. No injuries were reported, but a tomato greenhouse was damaged. The Islamic State terror organization later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier in the morning, in an unusual move, the Taba border crossing between Israel and Sinai was closed following an alert by Israel’s National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau of concrete information of a planned attack targeting Israeli citizens. Under the closure, Israelis citizens will not be allowed to cross into the Sinai, but may return to Israel through the crossing point.

The border closure and the announcement of the threat come a day after two attacks on Egyptian churches that left nearly 40 people dead and dozens injured. The Islamic State also claimed responsibility.

Israelis were requested to leave Sinai and return to Israel due to the threat. The Taba crossing is located near Eilat and allows Israelis to enter Sinai.

The closure will remain in effect until April 18, the day after Passover ends. The holiday is a popular time for Israelis to vacation at resorts in Sinai.

Several government ministries made the decision to close the border and request the return of Israeli citizens.

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