Israel and Egypt to Jointly Investigate Terror Attack

September 21, 2012  

Israel and Egypt have agreed to jointly investigate Friday’s terror attack along the Israel-Egypt border, in which IDF soldier Netanel Yahalomi was killed and another soldier was moderately wounded.

According to a report in the Egyptian newspaper Masrawy, a delegation of senior Egyptian military officials would meet with IDF officers to learn the details of the attack.

In addition, the newspaper reported that Egypt has asked Israel to turn over the bodies of the three terrorists who were killed in the attack, so that it can determine their identity and to which organization they belonged.

Security sources in Cairo told Masrawy that the terrorists who opened fire at the IDF soldiers had explosive belts attached to their bodies.

The sources added that the Egyptian army will increase its presence in the area where the attack took place. Also, according to the report, Egypt asked Israel after the attack not to open fire near the border region, fearing that Egyptian soldiers may be hit.

An initial IDF investigation showed that the terrorists entered Israel through an area where there is no security fence and that they were heavily armed.

Large IDF forces converged on the location of the firefight, in the Har Harif area, and engaged the terrorists until they were eliminated.

“A very large terror attack was prevented,” said IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai. “The terrorists apparently intended to infiltrate the territory of the state of Israel. They were found with explosive belts, vests and guns.” According to Voice of Israel government-sponsored radio, he said the terrorists intended to blow themselves up amidst soldiers.

Brig. Gen. Mordechai said it was not known yet which terror group carried out the attack. He added that the IDF is certain that no other terrorists are on the loose inside Israel. The section of the border where the incident occurred is the last one in which the security fence has not been completed. Construction there is expected to end later this year.

On Wednesday evening the IDF, in a joint operation with the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), was able to foil a planned terror attack as IAF aircraft struck and killed two terrorists in southern Gaza.

The two terrorists were members of a group calling itself “The Al-Aqsa Defenders”, which the IDF said is supported by Hamas.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday called Hamas leader Ahmed Yousef and offered his condolences over the death of his brother, who was one of the terrorists killed in the Israeli air strike.

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