An unidentified drone struck a civilian building in the port city of Eilat in southern Israel today, the Israeli army announced today. The incident resulted in no injuries and only minor damage.
Meanwhile, Yemeni rebels, who have been behind similar attacks in recent weeks, said they fired several ballistic missiles into Israeli territory, including military targets in Eilat.
The server of The Times of Israel, citing the medical service in Eilat, wrote that the drone landed on a local school and six people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation or shock. “The identity of the drone and the details of the incident are being investigated,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
The army later announced that in the Red Sea region, to which Israel has access through the port of Eilat, its Arrow air defense system had successfully intercepted a missile aimed at Israeli territory. In another report a few hours later, it said it had shot down a “suspicious target” in a desert area in the south of the country using the Patriot system.
In recent weeks, Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have repeatedly sent rockets or drones towards Israel, but so far they have all been shot down or failed to reach their destination. The Houthis consider themselves part of the so-called “axis of resistance” against Israel, which, in addition to the Palestinian movement Hamas, also includes Shiite Muslim factions in Iraq supported by Iran and the Lebanese group Hezbollah.
The Houthis control vast areas of Yemen, including the capital Sana’a, which is over 1,800 kilometers away from Eilat as the crow flies. This port city on the Gulf of Aqaba is Israel’s main commercial gateway to the Red Sea. In recent weeks, Israel has strengthened its naval presence in the Red Sea to better protect its southern coast, the United States also has significant naval power in the area, Reuters recalled.
“This is the first confirmed damage in the city of Eilat since fighting broke out on October 7. Hamas and the Houthis have already fired rockets, guided missiles or drones in the direction of Eilat several times. But previous attacks have always been intercepted by Israeli, American, Saudi or Egyptian forces,” Daniel Mueller, an analyst at the British maritime security firm Ambrey, told Reuters.
The Israeli army has been bombarding the Gaza Strip for the second month and is continuing a ground operation in these days with the aim of completely destroying Hamas in retaliation for the brutal attack on October 7, in which the militants of the radical movement in the south of Israel killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and over two hundred were dragged to Gaza as hostages. The Israeli operation has so far cost the lives of more than 10,800 Palestinians, according to officials in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. (ČTK)