CAIRO/JERUSALEM - On Friday Oct 27 , the Egyptian army reported that drone strikes caused explosions in two Egyptian towns on the Red Sea. Concurrently, Israel has pointed the blame at Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi movement, alleging their involvement in the attack.
The drone attacks resulted in injuries to six individuals, highlighting the growing risk of regional spillover arising from the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict. As of now, no group or organization has claimed responsibility for these attacks.
Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strongly asserted that the Iran-backed Houthi movement orchestrated the drone attacks, alleging that they launched the drones and missiles with the intent to harm Israel. Egypt's military spokesperson, Colonel Gharib Abdel-Hafez, reported that two drones were launched from the southern Red Sea, heading northward. This geographic alignment placed Yemen at the southern end of the Red Sea and Israel at its northern boundary.
The first drone crashed into a building near a hospital in the Egyptian town of Taba, which is located on the border with Israel. This incident occurred in the early hours of Friday, resulting in six injuries, according to the Egyptian military.
On Friday morning, Egyptian authorities confirmed that they intercepted the second drone outside Egyptian airspace, and its debris fell in a desert area near the town of Nuweiba, approximately 43 miles from the Israeli border. Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari explained that combat helicopters were deployed when "an aerial threat was detected in the Red Sea region."
In a televised briefing, Hagari further stated, "To our understanding, the strike that took place in Egypt originated from this threat," and Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs later confirmed the attribution of the drones to the Houthi.
Witnesses in Taba and Nuweiba, both popular tourist destinations on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, reported hearing explosions, observing smoke, and witnessing Egyptian warplanes patrolling the skies.
In response to the incident, the Egyptian military announced, "The air force and air defense force are intensifying efforts to secure Egyptian airspace in all strategic directions."
The Israeli spokesperson declared that "Israel will collaborate with Egypt and the United States to strengthen regional defenses against threats emerging from the Red Sea region." This comes after the United States announced last week that a Navy warship in the Red Sea had intercepted projectiles launched by the Houthi, possibly aimed at Israel.
Egypt, sharing its borders with both Gaza and Israel, remains exposed to the conflict that erupted following Hamas' assault on Israel on October 7, 2023, and the subsequent bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Cairo has played a significant role in advocating for humanitarian aid to Gaza, the release of hostages held by Hamas, and the establishment of a ceasefire.
Just a few days ago, Hamas claimed to have targeted the Israeli town of Eilat, located across the border from Taba, using a missile. This action marked the farthest-reaching attack by Hamas since the events of October 7, 2023.
Edited by: Sri Soudamini Konka
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