Clashes on Egypt-Israel border kill three
Published Monday, June 18, 2012
Unknown gunmen fired on an Israeli crew building a border barrier on the Egyptian frontier on Monday, killing one of the workers, and Israeli soldiers shot dead two of the infiltrators, the Israeli army said.
The incident, hours after Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood declared victory in the country's presidential election, raised Israeli concern about border security with Egypt, more than a year after Israeli-ally Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power.
"We can see a disturbing deterioration in Egypt's control of the Sinai's security," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, commenting on the attack.
"We are waiting for the election results. Whoever wins, we expect him to take responsibility over all of Egypt's international commitments," he told reporters in a reference to a 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
An Israeli military source said one of the workmen, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was killed by the gunmen. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, about 30km from the Gaza Strip.
Soldiers who rushed to the scene killed two of the gunmen and searched the Israeli side of the border for more gunmen, the source said.
To curb an influx of African migrants and boost security, Israel is building a fence along the frontier with Egypt that it hopes to complete by the end of the year.
The barrier will run most of the 266km from Eilat, on the Red Sea, up to the Gaza Strip.
In the most serious attack in the area since the Egyptian popular uprising, militants crossed over the Egyptian border and killed eight Israelis in August 2011.
Overnight on Sunday, Israeli aircraft carried out yet another series of strikes in the Gaza Strip, wounding at least seven people, according to medical sources.