Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu joined Defense Minister Ehud Barak on a tour of the Kerem Shalom area Monday where a terrorist infiltration was thwarted Sunday night.
near the burned out stolen Egyptian armed jeep, praised the soldiers
and officers at the scene for their preparedness for the attack.
also want to express my sadness at the killing of the Egyptian
soldiers. I think it is clear that Israel and Egypt have a joint
interest in a quiet border," he said.
At the same time, Netanyahu
said the failed attack proved once again that when it comes to the
security of Israeli citizens, Israel "can and must rely only on itself.
There is no one except the IDF and security forces of Israel that can do
this, and we will continue to do so."
Earlier Monday, Barak told
the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that that he hoped the
attack would spur Egypt to take stronger action in the Sinai Peninsula.
"Perhaps this will be a necessary wake-up call for the Egyptians to take matters in their hands in a more serious way," Barak said.
During a tour of the Kerem Shalom Crossing, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said that “a large disaster was averted.”
the ambitious and sophisticated attack on Sunday night, global jihad
terrorists infiltrated Israel after breaking into an Egyptian military
base and stealing two vehicles, including an armored jeep.
the vehicles, a small pickup truck, exploded as it rammed through a
section of the fence near the Kerem Shalom crossing, which is shared by
Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip. A number of terrorists succeeded in
exiting the second vehicle before it was destroyed by an air strike.
They crossed into Israel and engaged in a firefight with IDF troops.
Eight terrorists were killed in the gunfight.
During the raid on
the Egyptian base, around 15 Egyptian soldiers were killed. IDF sources
said the attackers were probably Beduin residents of Sinai who were part
of a larger global jihad terror cell based in the peninsula.
are terrorists who are connected between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai,”
Gantz said during a tour of the border with OC Southern Command
Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo. “This was a joint operation of intelligence
agencies, the Israel Air Force and the IDF infantry and armored units
which worked all together and succeeded in ending the attack within 15
minutes from when it began.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman
said that the Egyptians know very well the significance of Sunday's
attack and what they need to do, and don't need Israel's advice.
on a tour of the northern border with other members of his Israel
Beytenu party, said it was clear in Cairo that the attacks in Sinai are
bad for Egypt's' national security, for its economy and tourism trade.
"I hope the Egyptians will draw the conclusions," he said.
conclusions Jerusalem hopes the Egyptians draw is that they will act
more forcefully in Sinai to stamp out the global Jihadist terrorism
growing there, and which threatens both Israel and Egypt.
asked whether Israel sent any messages to the new government in Egypt
since the attack, said that Jerusalem was in daily contact with Egypt.
don't think Egypt needs any advice from us, they alone understand the
significance of this type of actions," he said. "I only hope that they
draw the conclusions and we see results as fast as possible for the good
of the whole region."
On landing in Athens at the start of his
state visit to Greece on Monday, President Shimon Peres, at the official
reception hosted by his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias, offered
condolences to the people of Egypt.
It is in the interests of
both Egypt and Israel to maintain peace and quiet on both sides of the
border, and throughout southern Israel, he said.
Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.