Drone Attacks in Egypt: A Spillover from the Israel-Gaza Conflict

On Friday, two towns in Egypt on the Red Sea were shaken by explosions caused by drones, according to the Egyptian military. Israel attributed these drones to Yemen's Houthi movement, backed by Iran, which was allegedly targeting Israel. These explosions, which injured six people, underscored the potential for the Israel-Gaza conflict to have regional repercussions. No group has claimed responsibility for these attacks. 


Israel's foreign ministry accused the Iran-backed Houthi of launching drones and missiles with the intent to harm Israel. Colonel Gharib Abdel-Hafez, a spokesman for Egypt's military, stated that two drones were launched from the southern Red Sea heading north. One drone hit a building near a hospital in the Egyptian town of Taba, injuring six people early on Friday. The second drone was shot down outside Egyptian airspace later that morning, with the wreckage landing in a desert area of Nuweiba town, approximately 70 km from the Israeli border.

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Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari reported that combat helicopters were deployed when an aerial threat was detected in the Red Sea region. He suggested that this threat was the source of the strike in Egypt. This was later confirmed by Israel's foreign ministry, which attributed the drones to the Houthi. Witnesses in Taba and Nuweiba, popular tourist spots on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, reported hearing explosions and seeing smoke, as well as Egyptian fighter jets in the sky. The Egyptian military is ramping up efforts to secure its airspace from all strategic directions.

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The Israeli spokesperson stated that Israel would collaborate with Egypt and the United States to strengthen regional defenses against threats from the Red Sea region. Last week, the U.S. reported that a Navy warship in the Red Sea intercepted projectiles launched by the Houthi, possibly aimed at Israel. Egypt, which shares borders with both Gaza and Israel, is vulnerable to the conflict that erupted following Hamas' assault on Israel on October 7 and the subsequent bombardment of Gaza. Cairo has been actively advocating for aid to be sent to Gaza, for Hamas' hostages to be released, and for a ceasefire. On Wednesday, Hamas claimed it had targeted Eilat, an Israeli town across the border from Taba, with a missile. This appears to be Hamas' longest-range attack on Palestine since October 7.

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