An IDF unit was ambushed on the Egyptian border, with one of the suspects killed as a result of the shooting.
By TPS and World Israel News Staff
A smuggler was killed by the IDF forces on the Egyptian border on Wednesday night after apparently threatening the troops’ lives.
The IDF stated that a unit that was in an ambush on the Egyptian border during the night identified three suspicious vehicles approaching the border fence from inside Israel.
The troops signaled the vehicles to stop and identified one of the vehicles accelerating towards them, and in response fired at the wheels of the vehicle.
One of the suspects was killed as a result of the shooting.
The incident is being investigated, the IDF stated.
Israeli forces periodically clash with smugglers on the border with Egypt, a major smuggling route into Israel for drugs, weapons, and human trafficking.
The clashes have increased significantly in recent months, apparently the result of increased efforts by smugglers and an intensified IDF response to stem the attempts.
Army data reveal that some 100 smugglings were recorded in the first quarter of the year alone, in comparison to about 300 illegal runs in each of the previous two years.
One-third of the attempts from January to March have been foiled by alert troops. In those 32 cases, 1,400 kilograms of drugs and nine vehicles were seized, with a total value of 40 million shekels.
The use of violence by the drug runners has risen steadily over the last three years, up from 13.3% of the cases in 2019 to 23.3% in 2020, and about 20% so far in 2021. The reason for this is attributed to the upgrade in the IDF’s performance against them.
“Because of our success, we see a rise in the phenomenon that we dub ‘violent smuggling,’” a source from the IDF told The Jerusalem Post last month. “The smugglers use live fire in these incidents.”
Although in most cases, they aim at the Egyptian police on their side of the border, the source said, “Our commanders and soldiers are experienced in live-fire incidents more than any other front. Once a week, during a smuggling attempt, they shoot all over, and commanders and combat soldiers here have felt the bullets whistling near their heads.”