The circumstances surrounding the strike that occurred early Friday evening near Rafah in the northern Sinai Peninsula, in which (it appears) that five Islamic terrorists were killed, are still unclear. Particularly elusive are the facts regarding who perpetrated the strike. Initial reports published by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency and then later by AP cited Egyptian officials in El-Arish who said that an Israeli drone fired missiles at a storage site for long-range missiles. They said the strike took place near the Kerem Hashalom crossing, and in the triangle between the Israeli, Egyptian and Gazan border.
Senior Israeli officials refused to confirm or deny any connection between the IDF and the strike. They only spoke in general terms about the continuing Egyptian campaign in the Sinai against al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organizations.
An Israeli Air Force drone reportedly struck a jihadist rocket launcher in the Sinai Peninsula near the Israeli-Egyptian border, killing four suspected terrorists who were planning to launch missiles at Israel, Egyptian security sources told Reuters on Friday.
Details of the strike remain unclear. Five different security sources told Reuters the strike was done by Israel, while an Egyptian army spokesman issued a statement on Facebook several hours after the strike denying Israel was behind it. Israeli officials, meanwhile, declined to comment on the reports.
One source said that the Israeli aircraft had observed the militants preparing three rocket launchpads to hit Israel. It launched a missile, killing two men, then killed another pair who stepped up to the pads after the first strike.
Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported that a large explosion was heard on Friday afternoon in Rafah, near the Kerem Shalom border crossing. The Egyptian military said there had been two explosions west of the international border 3 km (two miles) from Al Agra on Friday evening but gave no further details.
Egyptian soldiers were searching the area in the North Sinai region to find out more, Egyptian army spokesman Ahmed Ali said in a statement.
AFP cited Egyptian sources as saying the IDF coordinated the attack with the Egyptian authorities, but an Egyptian military spokesman denied that report as well.
"The claim that there exists coordination between the Egyptian and the Israeli side in this matter is a matter completely void of truth," he said.
Since the 1940s and up to 10 years ago we have had the highest solar activity in 1000 years. The last time we had solar activity that high was when we had the Medieval Warm Period from year 1000 to around 1300. … Historically there has been a close connection between solar activity and temperature for the last 1000 years. Therefore the sun’s activity will also have influence the coming many years. … The unusual thing right now is that sun’s activity is decreasing while there’s a great increase in atmospheric CO2. For that reason the question is how much the earth will cool in a time of decreasing solar activity. … The development is beautifully consistent with a cooling effect of the solar activity in the same period. This could mean that the temperature will not rise for the next 30 years or maybe begin to decrease.”