The Washington Post: 3 Israeli soldiers were killed by an Egyptian soldier in a rare wave

Israeli officials said that three Israeli soldiers were killed in a rare wave along the country’s border with Egypt on Saturday, according to the Washington Post.

Both Egypt and the armed occupation authorities identified the suspect as a member of the Egyptian security forces, although they gave differing accounts of what the coup authorities described as an “accident” and what the Israeli authorities described as a “serious attack”.

Two soldiers were found dead at a remote guard post early Saturday, officials said, just hours after Israeli forces thwarted a drug smuggling attempt in the area, a rugged and uninhabited area in the Negev desert. After an extensive search, the suspected gunman was killed in an exchange of fire, along with a third Israeli soldier.

Officials in the Israeli occupation army said that they are investigating the incidents in coordination with the Egyptian army.

The officials said all of the incidents took place on the Israeli side of the border.

“Our hypothesis is that this was related to attempted drug trafficking, but we can’t be certain yet,” Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht told a news conference. “Maybe [الدولة الإسلامية، الجماعة الإرهابية النشطة في منطقة سيناء المصرية]He could be a rogue border guard, he could be a smuggler, we’re still looking into it.”

“Cooperation with Egypt is good, it continues. This is not a geopolitical accident,” Hecht said.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant assessed the situation with IDF chief Gen. Herzi Halevy on Saturday, he said in a tweet.

“We are in a joint investigation with the Egyptians, and it will be sharp, clear, and we will not leave any issue unresolved,” Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, commander of the IDF’s Southern Command, told reporters during a visit to the Egyptian border, according to The Times of Israel.

In a statement posted on Twitter Saturday night, the president of the occupying power, Isaac Herzog, offered his condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers and vowed to “preserve their memory and continue to defend our borders with determination.”

The Egyptian and Israeli authorities gave conflicting accounts of the morning’s events, as the Egyptian army confirmed that the incident resulted from a hot pursuit of drug smugglers.

“In the early morning of Saturday, June 3, 2023, members of the security forces responsible for securing the international border line chased out members of the security forces,” the army said in a statement Saturday afternoon. [سلسلة] Drug smuggling.” “During the chase, a member of the security forces breached the security barrier and exchanged fire, killing 3 members of the Israeli security forces.”

The Israeli official, Hecht, said the events of the “confusing morning” may have started between 2 and 3 a.m. when Israeli soldiers thwarted a smuggling attempt in which agents on one side of the border wall reportedly used ladders to pass contraband to the other side. About $401,000 worth of illegal drugs were seized, according to the army.

Several hours later, after two soldiers stationed at a guard post in the area failed to respond to radio communications, an officer arrived to investigate and found that they had both been shot, Hecht said. One was male and the other female. In a press release issued later Saturday, the Israeli occupation army identified the soldier who was killed as Sergeant Leah Ben Noun, 19, a combat soldier from the city of Rishon LeZion in the central occupied territories. She was posthumously promoted to corporal.

“The IDF expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and will continue to support them,” the press release read.

It was not clear if there were any reports of attacks in the area. The Israeli military believes that an attacker, alone, entered through a small gate used by Israeli forces for emergency border crossings, Israeli media reported. The Washington Post was unable to verify these reports.

Hecht said Israeli forces launched a search operation in the area and tracked down the suspected attacker. The man, who was armed with an automatic weapon, opened fire on the Israeli forces, killing a male soldier. Israeli forces returned fire, Hecht said, killing the man.

The Israeli occupation army identified the soldier who was killed in the exchange of fire as Sergeant Ohad Dahan, 20, from the southern city of Ofakim. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant after his death, according to a statement by the Israeli occupation army on Saturday evening.

Israeli officials declined to comment on how to reconcile the Egyptian proposal of a fast-moving manhunt with the occupation’s description of an hours-long shooting chase in at least two different locations.

The Egyptian military said in a statement later on Saturday that Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki spoke with Gallant by phone “to discuss the circumstances of today’s incident, offer condolences to the victims of the incident from both sides, and jointly coordinate to take the necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future.”

Meanwhile, Gallant referred to the incident as a “serious attack,” and that he and his counterpart agreed to “prevent terrorism in the border area and strengthen security relations.”

These incidents took place near the Nitsana border crossing, about 25 miles from the close borders between the occupation, Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Goods are imported from Egypt destined for Israel or the Gaza Strip through the crossing.

And the occupying country completed the construction of a 250-mile border wall in 2014, with the aim of preventing illegal immigration, smuggling of drugs and weapons, and incursions by militants coming from Egypt.

Officials said the Egyptian border with Israel has been relatively calm in recent years, although smuggling attempts into Israel are not unusual.

The occupying state and Egypt signed a peace agreement in 1979. During the reign of the overthrown Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who rose to power in the wake of the 2013 military coup, Cairo cooperated closely with the occupation in the field of security, especially in the Sinai Peninsula.

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