April 10, 2017 The Israeli government closed its Taba border crossing with Egypt on Monday due to an imminent threat of a terrorist attack against tourists on the eve of the Passover holiday. The warning is unusual in its urgency and it is rare for the Taba crossing to be shut down.
Haaretz is reporting that moments after the Israeli government closed the border to Egypt, a rocket fired by militants in Sinai struck a greenhouse in a southern Israeli community near the Egypt and Gaza borders. The Islamic State or ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement by ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency, a spokesperson for the terrorist group said that militants of the group fired a Grad rocket at “settlements in the Jewish Eshkol region.”
The move to close the Southern border to Egypt comes one day after ISIS carried out attacks on two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt that killed forty-four people. The Taba crossing remains open for Israeli citizens wanting to return from Egypt.
In a statement on Monday, Israel’s Transportation and Intelligence Minister, Yisrael Katz said intelligence revealed the Islamic State or ISIS is planning attacks against Israelis in the Sinai Peninsula.
Since the state of Israel was established in 1948, Israeli citizens have suffered deadly ambushes, car bombings, suicide attacks, and airline hijackings by HAMAS and other pro-Palestine terrorist groups. Consequently, Israeli citizens have adopted a culture of preparedness, in which public’s awareness is a way of life.
Most of Israel shuts down after sundown for the Passover holiday, as people 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.
Historically, terrorist groups plan attacks to coincide with a significant date, such as an anniversary or holiday, because it can add meaning and exposure to their action.
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."