The explosions occurred on the night of October 7, against the Hilton Taba and campsites used by Israelis in Ras al-Shitan. In the Taba attack, a truck drove into the lobby of the Taba Hilton and exploded, killing 31 people and wounding some 159 others. Ten floors of the hotel collapsed following the blast.
Some 50 kilometers (31 mi) south, at campsites at Ras al-Shitan, near Nuweiba, two more bombings happened. A car parked in front of a restaurant at the Moon Island resort exploded, killing two Israelis and a Bedouin. Twelve were wounded. Another blast happened moments later, targeting the Baddiyah camp, but did not harm anyone because the bomber had apparently been scared off from entering the campground by a guard.
According to the Egyptian government, the bombers were Palestinians who had tried to enter Israel to carry out attacks there but were unsuccessful. The mastermind, Iyad Saleh, recruited Egyptians and Bedouins to gain explosives to be used in the attacks. Beginning in March 2004, the bombers used washing machine timers, mobile phones and modified gas cylinders to build the bombs. They used TNT and old explosives found in the Sinai (as it was many times a war zone), which were purchased from Bedouins, to complete the bombs.
Egypt has said that Saleh and one of his aides, Suleiman Ahmed Saleh Flayfil, died in the Hilton blast, apparently because their bomb timer had run out too fast. Three Egyptians, Younes Mohammed Mahmoud, Osama al-Nakhlawi, and Mohammed Jaez Sabbah were sentenced to death in November 2006 for their roles in the blast. Egypt arrested up to 2,400 people following the attacks.
Israel had warned in September 2004 that terrorists were planning attacks in the Sinai, but most Israelis did not heed those warnings and went on vacation there instead. Many Israelis left the Sinai after the bombings, along with some foreign tourists, but the effects on the country's tourism were not too severe.