A terrorist who was later identified as an Egyptian policeman shot and killed two IDF soldiers who were guarding a military position on the Egyptian border in the early hours of Shabbos morning.
IDF forces were deployed to the scene and carried out searches of the area. On Shabbos afternoon, IDF soldiers spotted the terrorist in Israeli territory and a gun battle ensued. The terrorist was killed in the exchange of fire, and tragically, a third IDF soldier was killed and an officer was lightly wounded.
One of the soldiers that were killed on Shabbos morning was identified as Sgt. Lia Ben-Nun, 19, H’yd, of Rishon L’Tzion, and the second soldier was named as Staff Sgt. Ori Yitzchak Iluz, 20, H’yd, of Tzfas.
The soldier killed on Shabbos afternoon was named as Staff Sgt. Ohad Dahan, 20, H’yd of Ofakim.
The IDF stated that “an investigation is taking place in close and full cooperation with the Egyptian army.”
Chief of Staff Hertzi HaLevi said: “This is a serious incident in which two IDF soldiers and a female soldier fell in an operational activity to maintain security at the Egyptian border. We are investigating the incident in a thorough and in-depth manner together with the Egyptian army.”
The murders on Shabbos morning by the Egyptian policeman occurred only hours after IDF forces thwarted a major drug smuggling operation on the border. Egypt claims that the Egyptian police officer was chasing after the drug smugglers and has not recognized the incident as a terrorist incident.
Following a phone call between Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and his Egyptian counterpart, Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Zaki, about the incident, the Egyptian army issued a statement saying: “Mohammed Zaki, the Minister of Defense and Supreme Commander of the Egyptian Forces, spoke on the phone with Minister Yoav Gallant to discuss the circumstances of today’s incident and to express his condolences for the dead on both sides.”
Gallant issued a statement saying: “I spoke this evening with my Egyptian counterpart, Minister Mohamed Zaki. I emphasized the importance of our cooperation in the investigation of the severe attack in which three IDF troops were killed. We agreed to work together to prevent terrorism along our border and to further strengthen defense ties between our countries.”
(YWN’s Jerusalem desk is keeping you updated after tzeis ha’Shabbos in Israel.)