An Israel Defense Forces officer and a soldier were wounded on Wednesday in a shooting incident near the border with Egypt, a spokesman from the Israeli military confirmed.
The two wounded from the mixed Caracal infantry battalion, one of them a female company commander. They were evacuated by helicopter to the Soroka Medical Center, Be’er Sheva.
Large forces were immediately mobilized to the area, near Azuz. They were combing the area to rule out a possible border infiltration.
An Israeli officer said that the ambush had apparently taken place from the western side of the border fence between Israel and Egypt. The Israeli force was on patrol at the time of the ambush, investigating suspicious movements near the border when the enemy opened fire on the military jeep, according to an Israeli officer.
The armed militants who approached the Israeli-Egyptian border from Sinai opened fire at the military jeep from three different positions from a vehicle that arrived adjacent to the fence and two other nearby places.
An army investigation revealed that the armed cell was planning to smuggle drugs when an army jeep approached the vicinity. They opened fire after realizing they had been detected. The Israeli forces returned fire, and then an RPG was most likely fired at the Israelis without causing any injuries or damage.
It appears that one of the armed cell members who had reached the fence was injured. Other shooting was carried out in the area, in coordination with Egypt. During the incident several cell members were killed, somewhere between three and six, according to Israeli officials.
Soldiers noticed Egyptian policemen on the other side of the border collecting weapons, including Kalashnikov rifles, after the incident.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the military “will not hesitate to respond” to any attack against Israeli forces or civilians. The statement issued by the army did not identify the attackers.