Two rockets fired from Egypt's Sinai hit Israel: army

An Israeli police car blocks the road on the Israeli side of the Taba crossing leading into Egypt on February 16, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Jerusalem (AFP) - Two rockets fired from Egypt's violence-plagued Sinai Peninsula exploded inside Israeli territory on Friday without causing casualties, a military spokesman said.

"Two rockets fired from Sinai struck southern Israel, but without causing casualties or material damage," the spokesman said, without elaborating.

The Islamic State jihadist group's affiliate in Egypt, "Sinai Province", said it had fired three Grad rockets at Israel.

It said this was in retaliation for alleged Israeli support for Egypt's armed forces on Wednesday when the jihadists attacked army checkpoints in northern Sinai.

Egypt is reeling from a string of deadly attacks by IS on its security forces in the Sinai.

Jihadists led by IS have killed scores of troops, challenging President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's efforts to restore security and economic stability.

On Wednesday, Egypt's military deployed F-16 warplanes to bombard IS fighters who battled troops in a North Sinai town after launching a surprise dawn attack on army checkpoints.

Dozens were killed in what was IS's boldest attack yet in the Sinai, with militants taking over rooftops and firing rockets at troops.

Incidents along the Israel-Egypt border are rare.

At the end of last year, two Israeli soldiers were wounded by gunshots and an anti-tank missile fired at their car from the Sinai.

The most serious incident was in August 2011, when gunmen infiltrated southern Israel and staged a series of ambushes that killed eight Israelis.

Israel has a 240-kilometre (150 mile) border with the Sinai, which is mainly populated by Bedouins who have troubled ties with the Cairo government.