Terrorists operating from the Sinai Peninsula are believed responsible for a rocket strike that killed a Jordanian cab driver near the Intercontinental Hotel in Aqaba Monday. Six Katyusha rockets were fired at the area on Monday with two landing in Jordan; one near the neighboring Israeli city of Eilat; two in the Red Sea; and one in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
Israeli defense sources believe the rockets were fired from the Sinai. Police sappers in Eilat said the Katyushas were Iranian-made, with a range of 12 miles. Israel was investigating the possibility that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) had fired the rockets.
Monday's rocket strikes come one day after the PIJ announced it would resume suicide attacks against Israel. The group, which has carried out dozens of attacks against the Jewish State, said its recent efforts to attack Israel from the West Bank have been hampered by arrests carried out by Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces.
"Suicide operations require places for training and preparing explosive belts," said Abu Ahmed, a spokesman for the Al-Quds battalions, the PIJ's armed wing. "It's very difficult to do these things because of the policy of security coordination and the arrest of [would-be] suicide bombers."
Eilat and Aqaba have been targeted repeatedly in recent years. In August 2005, rockets were fired at several U.S. Navy ships in Aqaba. The rockets missed the American warships but killed a Jordanian soldier and landed in Eilat. Al Qaida in Iraq said it carried out the attack targeting ships belonging to "crusader American forces – in Aqaba and Eilat."
In April, a rocket was fired into Aqaba, causing no casualties but serving as a reminder that Israel, Jordan, and Egypt have all been terrorist targets in recent years. The mostly deadly attacks in the area occurred on July 23, 2005, when three bombs tore through hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, a popular resort, killing 90 people and wounding close to 240. Al Qaida and another jihadist group claimed responsibility.