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IS in Egypt claims rocket attack on Israel

The IS-linked group said the rocket fire was in retaliation for alleged Israeli support for Egypt's armed forces
A picture taken from Gaza part of Rafah shows smoke rising as Egyptian troops and militants in Rafah in North Sinai and Egypt's eastern border with the Gaza strip on 1 July 2015 (AA)

The Islamic State (IS) group's affiliate in Egypt claimed responsibility for a rocket attack from the Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel on Friday.

"Three Grad rockets were fired at Jewish positions in occupied Palestine," the "Sinai Province" group said in a statement on Twitter.

The IS-linked group said the rocket fire was in retaliation for alleged Israeli support for Egypt's armed forces on Wednesday when they attacked army checkpoints in northern Sinai.

Two rockets fired landed in an open area of Eshkol regional council in southern Israel.

“Sirens were sounded after one rocket hit southern Israel, no casualties were reported,” an Israeli army spokesman said via Twitter.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld later said that police found another rocket.

Israeli forces then closed a main highway and conducted searches in the area.

At least 70 Egyptian soldiers were killed in a recent wave of militant attacks, including at least one suicide bombing, in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula.

Militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) attacked at least 10 security checkpoints and a police station in the North Sinai province.

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.