Israel Shoots Down Missile, Keeps Peace Talks on Track With Palestinian Prisoner Release
Israel is having a busy week, and it's only Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military shot down a rocket headed towards a resort town bordering Egypt along the Red Sea. It was the first time the country's Iron Dome missile defense system was successful in intercepting and destroying an oncoming attack near Eilat.
A little known militant group that counts al Qaeda as its inspiration claimed responsibility for the attack. The group reportedly takes issue with both Israel and Egypt and was allegedly behind a 2011 attack that killed eight people near Eilat.
Tensions have been high along the Egypt-Israel border. Last week, Israel closed the Eilat airport due to a suspected security threat. A day later, suspected Islamic militants were killed in a drone strike on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The attack allegedly came from the Israeli side of the border.
Israel is also dealing with backlash from today's release of 26 Palestinian prisoners. On Tuesday, a High Court rejected an appeal to keep 26 Palestinian prisoners from being released as early as Tuesday evening. The appeal was filed by the families of some of the prisoners' victims, but the High Court decided that the government was not violating by releasing the prisoners.
The freeing of prisoners this week is the first of four scheduled releases over the next several months. Negotiations faced another threat earlier this week when Israel announced plans to increase their building in disputed territory, but so far, Palestinian leaders have not announced any plans to withdraw from peace talks.