Rocket fired from Sinai hits Israel hours after border crossing closed


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A rocket fired from Sinai landed on a greenhouse in southern Israel near the Gaza border hours after Israel closed its border with Egypt, citing fear of an imminent attack.

The rocket was fired on Monday morning, causing Code Red alerts to sound in several Israeli communities on the border with Gaza. No injuries were reported, but a greenhouse was heavily damaged.

Earlier on Monday morning, in an unusual move, the Taba border crossing between Israel and Sinai was closed. The closure came following an alert by the National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau of concrete information of a planned attack targeting Israeli citizens.  Under the closure, Israelis citizens will not be allowed to cross into the Sinai, but will be allowed to return to Israel through the crossing point.

The decision to close the border and request the return of Israeli citizens was made by Transportation and Road Safety, and Intelligence, Minister Yisrael and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Israelis were requested to leave Sinai and return to Israel due to the threat. The Taba crossing is located near Eliat and allows Israelis to enter Sinai.

The closure will remain in effect until April 18, the day after the end of the Passover holiday. The holiday is a popular time for Israelis to vacation at resorts in Sinai.

The border closure and the announcement of the threat against Israelis comes a day after two attacks on Egyptian churches that left nearly 40 people dead and dozens injured. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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