Despite the “grey areas” on the incident, Israel and Egypt reaffirmed Saturday evening their willingness to cooperate. Three Israeli soldiers and an Egyptian policeman were however killed on Saturday at the border, in an extremely rare exchange of fire. According to the Egyptian army’s version, a “member of the (Egyptian) security forces chasing drug traffickers” crossed a checkpoint between the two countries. There followed an “exchange of fire which left three dead on the Israeli side” in addition to the death of the Egyptian.
On Saturday morning, the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, shot dead, were discovered at a guard post near the Harif military base, about 100 km south of the Gaza Strip, near the border with the Egypt, an Israeli military spokesman said, saying the assailant apparently “infiltrated” from Egypt. A hunt was then launched in search of the alleged killer, and “at noon” he was located in Israeli territory, the army said in a statement.
Israeli army ‘thorough investigation’
Exchanges of fire followed and the assailant, identified as an Egyptian policeman, was killed as well as a third Israeli soldier, Ohad Dahan, 20 years old, specifies the text. One of the two soldiers killed in the first attack was a woman, Lia Ben Nun, 19, the army said. The unit responsible for patrolling the Israeli-Egyptian border is a mixed unit. The other soldier killed was identified as 20-year-old Ori Izhak Iluz.
The Israeli army seeks in particular to understand how the Egyptian managed to cross the barrier several meters high which runs along this border. In the evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described in a statement “the incident” as “serious and very unusual”, promising a “full” investigation. His Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and his Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, however, stressed the importance of cooperation and relations with Egypt, linked to the Jewish state by a peace treaty.
The army is conducting “a thorough investigation (…) in collaboration with the Egyptian armed forces”, said Herzi Halevi in a press release. Yoav Gallant notably highlighted the collaboration with Egypt in a press release published after a telephone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Zaki during which he underlined “the importance of the ties between the two countries”, according to a spokesperson. of the Army. Mohamed Zaki also noted “the joint coordination to take the necessary measures to avoid the repetition of incidents of this kind in the future”, according to an army spokesman.