An Egyptian soldier stands near the Egyptian national flag and the Israeli flag at the Taba crossing between Egypt and Israel.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Two cross-border smugglers trying to bring illegal goods from Egypt into Israel were shot dead on Tuesday morning.
Egyptian security forces apparently opened fire on the suspects, striking and killing two smugglers on the Israeli side of the border. IDF troops who arrived at the scene fired warning shots in the air at the time of the incident.
The incident occurred as smugglers on the Egyptian side of the border met their Israeli counterparts. The army has recovered the bodies of the smugglers and is investigating.
In October, two IDF soldiers were wounded, one seriously and one lightly, in a cross-border shooting carried out by narcotics smugglers. In that incident, an IDF jeep on routine security patrol near the community of Ezouz came under fire from three directions simultaneously, from drug smugglers across the Egyptian border. IDF ground units killed several members of the smuggling cell in the return fire.
The multi-directional attack, which included an anti-tank missile, was designed to pin down the jeep and kill the soldiers, before bringing the drugs into Israel.
The IDF’s Combat Intelligence Collection Corps monitors the border with Sinai for both terrorist and smuggling activity. The units are aided by a network of surveillance towers that rise out of the desert sand dunes on the Israeli side and provide regional control centers with visual and radar data on movements near the border. On the ground, in camouflaged positions, lookout units keep watch.