Two IDF soldiers injured in cross-border shooting from Egypt

IDF source says "We are seeking to understand whether an infiltration took place into Israeli territory."

By REUTERS
October 22, 2014 14:08
2 minute read.
Injured soldier

Injured soldier evacuated to hospital. (photo credit: SOROKA MEDICAL CENTER)

 
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An IDF jeep on routine security patrol near the community of Ezuz, on the border with Egypt came under cross-border fire on Wednesday afternoon.

The IDF confirmed that the wounded are a female Karakal company commander and a male soldier.

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They were evacuated to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba where the hospital announced that the female officer was in moderate condition and the male soldier was in moderate to serious condition.

It appears as if the jeep was hit by an anti-tank missile, though this has still not been established with certainty.

Egyptian security sources said Egyptian forces later clashed with several gunmen who had likely attacked the Israeli border patrol.

No casualties were reported in the confrontation, and there was no immediate comment from the Egyptian military.

In an unrelated incident, the army source said, an army jeep overturned four kilometers away from the scene of the first incident. Four soldiers inside the vehicle were lightly injured in that incident, the source said.



"We have launched a large-scale intelligence and aerial intelligence effort to understand the incident," the source said.

"We are seeking to understand whether an infiltration took place into Israeli territory," he added.

The Sinai peninsula has been a hotbed of jihad activity in recent years. A number of rocket attacks and infiltration attempts from the peninsula have targeted Israel.

Global jihadi group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, linked to Islamic State and al-Qaida, has beheaded a number of Egyptians in recent months, accusing them of being spies for Israel's Mossad.

Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip have also used Egypt's Sinai as a staging ground for terror activities against Israel.

According to Israeli intelligence evaluations, Hamas cooperated during the recent Gaza conflict with global jihadi elements that used the Sinai Peninsula to fire rockets on Eilat.

On July 15, terrorists in Sinai fired two rockets at the Red Sea resort city, lightly wounding four residents and destroying a number of vehicles. This cooperation between Hamas and terrorists in the Sinai was viewed by Egypt as a violation of its sovereignty.

Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge, Israel bombed global jihadi cells that planned to leave Gaza with weapons and head into the Sinai to carry out attacks on Egyptian military targets and fire rockets at Israel.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis maintains strong links with the Gaza Strip, partnering with groups such as the Popular Resistance Committees.

On Sunday, six Egyptian soldiers were killed in Sinai by a remotely-detonated roadside bomb. Egyptian security forces face a jihadist insurgency that has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the army toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood last year after mass protests against his rule.

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