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IDF appoints general to investigate “systematic” failures in lethal Egypt border attack

IDF Chief Herzi Halevi speaks with officers at the scene of a deadly shooting on the southern border with Egypt, June 3, 2023. (Photo: Israel Defense Forces)

Israel Defense Forces chief, Herzi Halevi, appointed Maj.-Gen. Nimrod Aloni to investigate the fatal shooting of three Israeli soldiers by an Egyptian police officer on the Egyptian-Israel southern border region.

Aloni will reportedly lead a team that will probe “systematic” failures and “examine the operational and systemic perception of defense of peaceful borders,” the IDF announced.

The Egyptian police officer reportedly entered Israeli territory by cutting an opening in the border fence with his combat knife. The initial probe indicated the suspect successfully entered Israeli territory without being noticed and caught the patrolling IDF soldiers by surprise. In addition, the attack took place in a remote area, far from population centers.

The investigation will seek answers to why it took several hours for the Israeli military to realize the attacker had killed IDF troops and gained entry to the Jewish state.

The Egyptian-Israeli border has remained largely peaceful since 1979 when Egypt and Israel signed an American-brokered peace agreement.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an IDF soldier said troops in the area rarely expect any attacks.

“Believing in a potential threat is very difficult in some areas. It’s hard to take it seriously,” the unnamed IDF soldier told The Times of Israel. However, the area is allegedly known for drug smuggling attempts from Egypt into Israel.

Mohamed Salah Ibrahim, the Egyptian police officer who murdered three Israeli soldiers, was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces following the border attack.

He was allegedly carrying a Koran at the time of the attack and appeared to have been motivated by religious hatred against the Jewish state, however, no known affiliation with an Islamic militant group has been announced.

In May 2021, Ibrahim wrote “Allah stands with Palestine” in a Facebook post with the hashtag #GazaUnderAttack

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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