Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel will conduct a full joint Israeli-Egyptian investigation of the “anomalous” attack by an Egyptian police officer who killed three IDF soldiers on the Egyptian-Israeli border on Saturday morning.
The prime minister sent condolences to the families of the killed Israeli Defense Forces officers during a Cabinet meeting on Sunday .
"On behalf of the government of Israel, I would like to send condolences to the families of the IDF soldiers who fell on the Egyptian border yesterday: Sgt. Lia Ben-Nun from Rishon LeZion, Staff-Sgt. Yitzhak Ilouz from Tzfat and Staff-Sgt. Ohad Dahan from Ofakim,” said Netanyahu.
“Our hearts and the hearts of the entire nation are with the dear families, whose worlds have been devastated. We are all with them, in their profound grief,” added the prime minister.
The Egyptian government also offered its condolences and stressed that the Egyptian police officer acted alone.
Following the lethal attack, some Israeli lawmakers urged for a change in the currently strict open fire regulations at the Egyptian-Israeli border.
“The open-fire regulations against terrorists and armed smugglers need to be changed immediately,” demanded Likud party Knesset Member Danny Danon.
“Legal arguments are binding the hands of the warriors that defend their homeland and the price is too high. We have to end this,” he added.
In recent months, IDF soldiers stationed in the area have complained about the restrictive rules of engagement instructing Israeli soldiers when it is legally permitted to return fire.
The Egyptian-Israeli border has largely been peaceful since the two countries signed an American-brokered peace agreement in 1979. However, there have been several terror-related border incidents due to the presence of Islamist militias in the politically unstable Egyptian Sinai peninsula region. In addition, there are frequent attempts by armed Bedouin criminal gangs to smuggle drugs from Egypt into the Jewish state.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.