Israel took the unusual step on Monday of barring its citizens from crossing into Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, saying the threat of attacks in the area inspired by Islamic State and other terror groups was high.
Minutes after the ban was announced, the IDF said a rocket was launched from the Sinai and struck southern Israel, causing no injuries.
The ban will be in effect at the Taba crossing at least until April 18, the end of Pesach, said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Egypt declared a three-month state of emergency on Sunday after bombings of churches in Alexandria and the Nile delta city of Tanta which killed more than 40 people. The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for both incidents and warned of future attacks.
Terrorists in the Sinai aim, the statement said, “to carry out terrorist attacks against tourists in the Sinai, including Israelis, in the immediate future.”
The statement urged Israelis already in the Sinai to return home immediately, reiterating a travel advisory that Israel’s Anti-Terrorism Directorate issued on March 27.