An IDF bomb squad detonated a 15-kilogram explosive seized during a search conducted along the Egyptian border on Thursday.
Late Wednesday night, IDF troops on a routine patrol of the border area spotted a suspicious figure carrying a bag containing what was later discovered to be a 15-kilogram bomb.
The soldiers ordered him to stop and fired several shots in the air. However, the man fled the scene back into Egypt, dropping the bag in his haste.
IDF sources said it was possible that the suspected terrorist was from the Gaza Strip and had crossed into the Sinai Peninsula with the intention of then crossing into Israel to carry out an attack.
The military has been following attempts to carry out attacks through the 'U-route', where Gazan terrorists travel to Egypt, then turn back upon reaching Sinai and infiltrate Israel via the more penetrable Israel-Egypt border.
Channel 10 quoted security officials as assessing the device was either meant to be used in Eilat, Israel's southernmost city, or in another major Israeli city to which the suspect would have been driven, in order to perpetrate a multiple-casualty attack.
OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant praised the soldiers' alertness and quick response.