Earlier today, CiF Watch took part in a briefing by Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich on the subject of last night’s terror attack in the south of Israel. The details are as follows.
At around 8 pm local time the IDF identified a group of terrorists engaged in an attack upon an Egyptian army base near Rafah. The terrorists killed around 15 Egyptian soldiers and stole two vehicles – a lorry, which they loaded with explosives, and an armoured personnel carrier.
The terrorists then proceeded to storm the border between Egypt and Israel near the Kerem Shalom crossing. The civilian kibbutz also named Kerem Shalom is situated nearby.
The truck self-detonated at the border in an action presumed to be an attempt to target Israeli soldiers at a nearby outpost. Due to the huge blast resulting from the large amount of explosives in the truck, some civilians in the area mistakenly reported being under rocket fire at the time.
The armoured personnel carrier crossed the border into Israel and was struck once from the air by the Israeli Air Force. As the terrorists abandoned the vehicle, they were also targeted. In all, five terrorists were killed: one who was driving the truck and four travelling in the APC.
It is presumed that the terrorists intended to kidnap Israelis or to target a house in the area. Some ten thousand Israeli civilians live in the vicinity. The terrorists were in possession of large amounts of weapons, flak jackets and explosive belts, indicating that a lethal attack was prevented.
The APC on fire after it was targeted by the Israel Air Force
(Photo credit:IDF blog)
Lt. Col. Leibovich stated that the IDF had prior intelligence on the subject of this attack which had prompted the issuing of a warning to Israelis not to enter Sinai several days beforehand. At present, the affiliation of the terrorists involved in last night’s incident is still under investigation. In the past year or so, the Sinai Peninsula has become an area of increased terrorist activity for a variety of groups, as indicated by previous attacks originating from the territory including those of August 18th 2011 and June 18th 2012.
The Guardian’s version of the incident can be found here.