Israel’s Eilat airport reopens after brief shutdown: security

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Israel reopened the airport in the Red Sea resort of Eilat after a brief shutdown over security concerns, the military said, according to AFP.

“The airport is open after a new situation report,” a spokeswoman told AFP, without further explanation.

Earlier, the army said that due to security assessments, Eilat Airport closed to all departures and arrivals, giving no further details.

Israeli media said that eight domestic flights were ordered to land or leave the airport Thursday evening.

The closure of the airport, which brings tourists to the Red Sea Eilat resort, heightened Israel’s concerns about Islamist militant activity in neighboring Sinai.

Eilat has been the target of attacks in the past. In April it was struck by rocket fire from the Sinai, and debris from a rocket that hit northern Eilat on July 4 was found days later.

Violence in the restive northern Sinai region has been increasing since the ouster of Islamist Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi in July 3.

Israel had already invested heavily in security around Eilat since the fall of U.S.-backed Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Other measures being taken to defend against jihadists in Sinai include an innovative, Israeli-designed missile deflector being fitted aboard planes.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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