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After Egypt church bombings, Israel closes southern border with Sinai

After Egypt church bombings, Israel closes southern border with Sinai

In a televised speech addressing the nation, Egyptian President Sisi declared a three-month countrywide state of emergency.

A statement released by the Counter-Terrorism Bureau, operating under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister's office, said the crossing will remain closed until the end of the Jewish high holiday of Passover next week.

The statements followed ISIS' claim of responsibility for bombing two churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday, killing more than 40 Christians.

In the nearly four years since the coup, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed across the restive peninsula.

Minutes after the ban was announced, the Israeli military said a rocket was launched from the Sinai and struck southern Israel, causing no injuries.

Most of the attacks have taken place in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, though attacks have reached Cairo.

In light of the recent terror attacks, threats and rocket fire, Egypt is calling on Israelis visiting the country to leave immediately, according to Egyptian media outlets.

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Meanwhile, Israeli security officials advised Israeli tourists in the neighbouring Sinai peninsula in Egypt to return home immediately.

The rocket was sacked shortly after the Israeli government announced that it was closing the Taba border crossing, between Israel and Egypt, over information warning of possible attacks targeting Israelis. The crossing is open for those wanting to return from Egypt.

"Alongside the sadness and the mourning, we must unite forces with an iron fist against the Axis of Evil and terrorism", she said.

The Israeli government shut down its border crossing with Egypt Monday in response to a threat of a terrorist attack. Monday's travel warning was unusual in its urgency and it is rare for the Taba crossing to be shut down.

Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979.

Hours later, over 17 people were killed and 48 in a second church bombing attack outside St. Mark's Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria.


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