Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday responded to a Grad rocket that exploded in Eilat overnight, stating that Israel will hit those trying to harm Israelis.
"The Sinai Peninsula has turned into a (rocket) launching pad," Netanyahu declared. "Israel will strike those trying to harm it, in this incident and in others."
A Grad-type rocket fired from Sinai exploded in a residential neighborhood of Israel’s southernmost city early Thursday morning. Residents reported hearing three explosions, but police sappers only located the remnants of one Grad rocket.
Police were continuing to search for other rockets and holding security assessments in Eilat late Thursday morning, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Also responding to the attack, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that terrorism is not going away any time soon.
"The challenge of terrorism is not over and will accompany today’s soldiers until their hair recedes and turns grey," Barak said.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz was expected to conduct a situational assessment in the South Thursday morning in light of the attack.
Eilat police chief Asst.-Cmdr. Ron Gertner said the southern city has been on high alert due to the upcoming Passover holiday.
Asked if the rocket was fired from Sinai, Gertner said: "Based on our working assumptions and the (rocket) range, yes."
Gertner added that Eilat has been reinforced with additional security forces who arrived to assist police in handling the aftermath of the rocket fire incident.
Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak-Halevy said Thursday morning that his city will function as normal despite the attack.
Speaking to Army Radio, Yitzhak-Halevy said, "we have no intention of changing our daily routine," adding that the city of Eilat had already been on high alert because of the upcoming Passover holiday.
"I call on all Israeli citizens to come enjoy the warm weather in our city this Passover," Yitzhak-Halevy said.