Red Alert incoming rocket alert warning sirens activated Tuesday evening in Israel’s southernmost city, Eilat, for the second time in fewer than 12 hours, sending thousands of residents racing for cover in response to a missile attack fired at Israel by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The attack was intercepted by Israel’s acclaimed Arrow aerial defense system, developed together with the United States for protection against long-range threats.
“A missile launch toward Israeli territory was identified and successfully intercepted by the Arrow aerial defense system in the area of the Red Sea,” the IDF said in a statement. “The target did not cross into Israeli territory, and was intercepted according to protocol.”
Earlier in the day, the IDF said an interceptor was launched in response to “the suspicion of an aerial target,” adding that the Red Alert sirens warning of that attack were triggered by the launch of the interceptor, rather than by the aerial threat.
“No infiltration was identified into Israeli territory,” the IDF said, but did not confirm missile fire from Yemen. At least one past attack aimed at Eilat since the start of the month originated from Syria.
Several hours after Tuesday’s first attack on Eilat, Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi announced, “We are looking for Israeli ships in the Red Sea to attack them. They don’t dare to wave the Israeli flag, but we will find them.”
Israeli Navy missile boats arrived November 1 in the Red Sea area following several instances in which cruise missiles and drones were launched by the Houthi rebels toward Israel. The vessels are equipped with air defense systems, such as the Barak-8, produced by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
A number of American naval vessels are also stationed in the Red Sea and have intercepted Houthi attacks aimed at Israel.