IDF brass in Cairo to investigate deadly border attack

Head of Southern Command and two other senior officers continue joint probe into killing of 3 soldiers by Egyptian policeman.

By World Israel News Staff

Three senior Israel Defense Forces commanders visited their Egyptian counterparts in Cairo a week after a deadly attack on the Egyptian-Israeli border saw three soldiers killed by an Egyptian police officer.

Commander of the Southern Command Major General Eliezer Toledano, Brigadier General Efi Defrin, the head of the International Cooperation Division, BG Effi Defrin, and the Head of the Operations Division in the Intelligence Directorate, Brigadier General “Gimmel” met with senior officials in the Egyptian army to continue a joint investigation which began hours after the attack.

According to a statement from the IDF, the Israeli commanders listened to the Egyptian version of the sequence of events and examined whether this attack could have been prevented. Israel requested that Egypt enhance security coordination and improve operational procedures on both sides of the border. This includes addressing issues related to drug smuggling as well as other incidents of infiltration, with the aim of preventing the recurrence of such events, the IDF said.

The Egyptian policeman who infiltrated into Israel, shot Sergeant Lia Ben Nun and Uri Yitzhak Iluz at a remote outpost, and remained inside Israeli territory for hours until being killed in a firefight in which a third soldier, Sergeant Ohad Dahan, was also killed.

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Based on a preliminary investigation conducted by the IDF, an attempt to smuggle 1.5 million NIS worth of drugs across the border took place at 2:30 a.m. approximately 3 km from the site of the killings. Squads of soldiers were deployed along the fence in multiple locations. At 3:00 a.m., IDF forces managed to thwart the smuggling attempt, and at 4:15 a.m., a contact check was conducted with all the forces deployed in the area. The platoon commander arrived at the position and found Iluz and Ben Nun dead.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “serious and unusual” incident that would be “thoroughly investigated.”

Soldiers and military analysts have alleged that an IDF policy, which requires that soldiers stand guard for 12 hours at the border, was a contributing factor that facilitated the terrorist’s deadly rampage.

In a statement, a spokesman for the IDF said that the soldiers were now being assigned to eight hour shifts, shortened from twelve hours. Additionally, at a specific outpost, two troops will guard at night, where one soldier had previously guarded.