This morning a terror attack took place on the Israeli side of the border with Egypt. The details of the event, as provided by Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit are as follows.
The incident took place on Route 10, some 30 kilometres south of Gaza. Three terrorists had crossed from Egypt to the Israeli side of the border and hidden themselves. At around 6 o’clock this morning, two vehicles transporting Israeli construction workers to the site of their work on the border fence currently under construction drove past the area in which the terrorists were hiding.
The terrorists activated an IED and fired at the vehicles with an RPG and Kalashnikov rifles. The RPG did not hit the cars, but the explosive device and gunfire did and one of the vehicles flipped over, landing in a nearby ditch. One of the Israeli construction workers ( Said Phashpashe, aged 36 from Haifa) was killed.
Minutes later, soldiers from the Golani Brigade arrived on the scene and there was an exchange of fire between them and the terrorists, during which a large explosion took place. Two terrorists were killed – one of them was carrying large amounts of explosives on his body.
Routes 10 and 12, which were closed to traffic during the event, have now been re-opened and the five Israeli civilian communities in the region which were sealed off for five hours whilst the possibility of a third terrorist at large was being ruled out are now back to normal.
Lt. Col. Leibovich pointed out several similarities between this incident and the one which took place nearby last August. In both cases the terrorists were in possession of very high quality equipment including flak jackets, camouflage gear, helmets and grenades. There is a high probability that part of the terror squad may have remained on the Egyptian side of the border.
The IDF is still investigating this morning’s incident and the terrorists’ origins and affiliations are not yet known.
In a separate event just before noon today, the IDF identified and eliminated two terrorists about to launch a terror attack in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of 2012, terrorists have fired 282 rockets into Israeli territory – 10 of those since the beginning of June.