Israeli soldiers wear their combat gear near a shelter at Kerem Shalom crossing August 1, 2014..
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN - REUTERS)
Gunfire from Sinai wounded an Israeli soldier early Monday morning. The lightly injured soldier was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba according to reports.
On Monday night, a pro-ISIS Twitter account reported the incident at around 1am. The attack comes on the 40th anniversary of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s visit to Israel.
According to an Arabic news service that tracks news from Sinai, the shooting happened near the Kerem Shalom crossing which is south of Rafah. This area is called Karam Abu Salem in Arabic. Rafah News, a local Arabic website, reported that security equipment was brought through the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel to Sinai on November 19. According to the report the equipment was to be used for security along the Israel-Gaza-Egypt border, based on the October agreement of Hamas to hand control of the border crossings over to the Palestinian Authority. Since early November the three crossings from Gaza have come under the control of the PA. This includes the presence of PA customs officers next to Kerem Shalom. On October 18 Egypt opened the Rafah border with Gaza for the first time since the Palestinians signed the October unity deal.
Egypt has been facing a terror wave in Sinai over the last two years, especially from local ISIS-affiliated groups. On November 18 Mahmoud Gamal, an Egyptian who tweets security related matters, said that a commander in Egypt’s Central Security Forces was targeted by an improvised explosive device (IED) in El-Arish. Last week there were numerous clashes with security forces near Sheikh Zuweid City which is near Rafah.
Spillover from the fighting in Sinai has become increasingly common in recent months. There were incidents reported in August and October and residents near Sinai have reported hearing gunfire and fighting. In February, May and October rockets were fired at Israel from Sinai; ISIS claimed responsibility for the October attack. It was the first time IDF soldiers were wounded by an attack from Sinai since 2014.
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