According to a Tel Aviv resident who was staying at a community in the Arava region, the explosion occured at around 1 am.
“The bed shook and other pieces of furniture moved,” he said. “In the morning we found out that the Grad landed about 200 meters from us.”
An initial probe suggests the rocket was fired from the Sinai Peninsula, and may be linked to the presidential elections in Egypt, which kicked off Saturday morning. Another possibility is that the rocket was fired from Jordan.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated: “After receiving reports of a loud explosion in the Negev, IDF forces scanned the area and located the remnants of a 122 millimeter Grad rocket that exploded in an open area. The IDF is probing the incident.”
Hevel Eilot Regional Council head Udi Gat said, “At approximately 1:30 an explosion was heard in the Shaharot area and nearby kibbutzim. The residents took it in stride because there is an airport nearby and they regularly hear supersonic booms. In the morning a Shaharot resident who was on his way to the camel farm found the Grad remnants.
Gat said security officials later determined that the rocket was fired from Sinai, some 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the border. It landed in an open area, he said.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian security official quoted by Egyptian news agency Suna denied media reports by which the Grad was fired from the Sinai Peninsula, saying the claims were meant to destabilize the security situation in Sinai and the presidential elections.
In recent months several rockets were fired into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula. In April, Eilat residents located remnants of a rocket some 10 meters from a residential neighborhood. No injuries were reported.
In August 2010, five rockets exploded in Eilat and Aqaba. A Jordanian taxi driver was killed and several were injured in Aqaba. There were no injuries in Israel.
Last August, a deadly terror attack near Eilat claimed the lives of eight people.
The remnants of a 122-millimeter Grad rocket were found near Mitzpe Ramon Saturday evening, this after residents reported hearing an explosion during the night. There were no reports of injury or damage.
The IDF continues to investigate the circumstances behind the firing of two rockets that hit the Ovda and Mitzpe Ramon areas over the weekend. Their remnants were found on Saturday following open area scans.
It is now believed that the rockets were fired by a cell from the Sinai Peninsula several hours before polling stations opened in the second round of Egypt’s presidential elections.