Israel condemns Egypt church attack

WikimediaSt. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria Egypt

Less than an hour after the border was closed, a rocket landed in a greenhouse in southern Israel.

In wake of Monday's rocket-launching, Israeli authorities closed the Taba Crossing into Sinai, urging all citizens to return home.

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said in a statement Monday there was intel regarding a potential "terror attack" against tourists in the Sinai peninsula. Thousands of Israeli citizens were expected to travel to Sinai during Passover.

But the incident - and border closure - underscored concerns over the growing strength and boldness of Egypt's Islamic State affiliate, which is based in Sinai. The Taba crossing is located near Eliat and allows Israelis to enter Sinai. "The world must unite and fight terrorism everywhere".

Israel's anti-terrorism office issued the recommendation on Sunday, citing what it said was a heightened alert level and twin church attacks that killed dozens of Christian worshippers.

The bureau said yesterday that it was repeating the call in light of a fresh assessment and what it said was "further escalation in the severity of the threat posed to Israelis visiting Sinai and its immediate surroundings".

On its official Twitter account, the terror group said "the fighters of the Islamic State have bombed a Jewish settlement in southern Palestine with a Grad rocket". Ironically, many see Passover as an opportunity to vacation in Egypt. The holiday is a popular time for Israelis to vacation at resorts in Sinai.

Israel mostly shuts down after sundown for the holiday, as families and friends gather for Seder, the ritual multi-course meal where the story of the exodus from Egypt is discussed in detail so that the tradition is preserved throughout the generations.

According to the IDF, the projectile was launched from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Egypt has been battling the militants, many linked to the Islamic State group.

IS has been waging a deadly insurgency against Egyptian security forces in the Sinai, but has rarely carried out an attack against Israel.