| 4 December 2023, Monday |

Blasts hit two Egyptian Red Sea towns, Israel points to ‘aerial threat’

Six people were hurt when projectiles struck two Red Sea cities in Egypt on Friday, according to officials and sources. This incident demonstrated the possibility of regional repercussions from the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Israel’s military said that there was a “aerial threat” in the Red Sea area, potentially alluding to the drone-using Houthi insurgency in Yemen, which is supported by Iran.

Colonel Gharib Abdel-Hafez, a spokesman for the Egyptian army, reported that a “unidentified drone” struck a building next to a hospital in Taba, near the Israeli border, in the early hours of the morning, injuring six people.

Later, another projectile fell near an electricity plant in a desert area of the town of Nuweiba about 70 km (43 miles) from the border, two Egyptian security sources told Reuters, adding that they were still gathering more information.

There was no claim of responsibility.

Taba and Nuweiba, both in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, are popular with tourists.

Witnesses in both places, who asked not to be named, confirmed hearing explosions and seeing smoke rising plus Egyptian warplanes flying overhead.

Without specifying the location, Israel’s military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said combat helicopters were scrambled when “an aerial threat was spotted in the Red Sea region”.

“To our understanding, the strike that took place in Egypt originated in this threat,” he added in a televised briefing. “Israel will work with Egypt, and the United States, and bolster regional defences against threats from the Red Sea region.”

  • Reuters