Terror Attack in Southern Israel
- Julie Stahl Jerusalem Bureau Chief
- 2007 29 Jan
The attack, at a bakery, was the first successful attack against Israelis since March, when a Palestinian disguised as a religious Jew hitched a ride with a couple traveling in the West Bank and blew up their car. Four Israelis died in that attack.
Eilat is more than 100 miles from the Gaza Strip, which Israel turned over to the Palestinians in the summer of 2005. But it is right across the border from the Egyptian Sinai Desert, to which Palestinians have free access.
As evidenced by previous terror attacks in Sinai resort areas, terror cells linked to global jihad movements are known to be operating in the area.
Al Qaeda has threatened to spread its terror attacks to Israel, and experts have said that it is only a matter of time until that happens.
Three groups claimed responsibility for Monday's attack: Islamic Jihad, Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades (the armed wing of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction) and a previously unknown group calling itself the Army of the Believers.
The attack comes at a time when Palestinian groups are supposed to be observing a ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.
In November 2003, a tourist was shot and killed near Eilat.
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