IDF soldiers in desert exercise 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
IDF announced Thursday morning that will launch a full investigation into Wednesday night's incidents along the
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Also Thursday morning, Home Front Defense
Minister Matan Vilnai said that the IDF acted appropriately when they
identified and engaged Beduin smugglers trying to cross illegally into Israel
from Egypt. The smugglers returned to Egypt after a firefight with with Israeli soldiers. No IDF soldiers were injured in the clash.
The smugglers were then identified by Egyptian security forces on the southern side of the border.
A second firefight erupted between them, resulting in the deaths of two Egyptian security officers, according to Army Radio
The two incidents apparently took place 400 meters apart from each
other. Israeli forces later recovered a Kalashnikov and a pistol from
In an interview with Israel Radio Thursday morning, Vilnai noted that Beduin smugglers attempting to infiltrate the Israeli border is a regular occurrence.
When asked whether Israel should deploy more soldiers on the border with Sinai, Vilnai responded that "we always lack soldiers near Sinai."
"It's like money," the home front defense minister said. "We could always use more."
Vilnai failed to say whether these specific incidents would have a negative impact on Israeli relations with Egypt.
According to Vilnai, the Arab Spring revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak, and which may pave the way for an Egyptian government heavily influenced by Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, guarantees that relations with Israel will never be "what they once were."
He warned, however, that Israel, the US, or any other foreign party should not attempt to intervene in internal Egyptian affairs. Such intervention, Vilani said, would be a "bad mistake."