EL-ARISH, (AFP) – Egyptian police searched the southern Sinai on Thursday for trucks they believe could have been used to fire rockets on Israeli and Jordanian resort towns this week, officials said.
Police were following a lead that two pickup trucks mounted with rocket launchers were used in Monday’s attacks, which left a taxi driver dead in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba, police officials said on condition of anonymity.
Senior security commanders were supervising the investigation near the southern Sinai Taba resort, where police earlier said they found what could have been rocket debris.
The coastal resort lies about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Eilat, where rockets landed in open ground outside the Israeli Red Sea resort.
Egypt on Wednesday blamed unnamed Palestinian factions and said it would not tolerate attacks from its territory but did not outright confirm Jordanian and Israeli accusations that the rockets were fired from the Sinai peninsula.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday blamed the Islamist Hamas rulers of Gaza for the attacks, a charge Hamas denied.
The militant group has an arsenal of Grad type missiles with a range of about 20 kilometres (12.5 miles), and there are smaller armed militant groups in the coastal strip that sometimes operate on their own.
Monday’s attacks came days after two rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Egypt is under increased pressure to secure the Sinai, which attracts millions of tourists to beach resorts.
A similar rocket attack hit Aqaba and Eilat in April, although the source of the firing was never established.
Egypt’s major beach resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba and Dahab were all the scenes of bloody attacks which killed a total of 130 people between 2004 and 2006.