update deskMiddle East

IDF brass in Cairo to probe deadly border terror attack

OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano leads the Israeli delegation.

Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the IDF's Mount Harif Base near the border with Egypt, June 3, 2023. Photo by Dudu Greenspan/Flash90.
Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the IDF's Mount Harif Base near the border with Egypt, June 3, 2023. Photo by Dudu Greenspan/Flash90.

Three Israel Defense Forces generals traveled to Cairo on Sunday as part of a joint investigation with the Egyptian military into the deadly terrorist attack along the Sinai border earlier this month.

Egyptian policeman Mohamed Salah Ibrahim last weekend shot dead IDF Sgt. Lia Ben-Nun, 19, Staff Sgt. Uri Iluz, 20, and Staff Sgt. Ohad Dahan, 20.

The Israeli delegation is being led by IDF Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, the IDF said.

The joint investigation began on the day of the attack, June 3, and is ongoing, the military added.

A preliminary investigation found that Ibrahim, who was killed during the attack, crossed the border through an emergency gate secured by plastic handcuffs.

Israel’s Army Radio reported that the Egyptian policeman had in his possession six magazines for his rifle, a Koran and a knife. The IDF believes that the presence of the Koran suggests that Ibrahim was motivated by Islamic religious extremism, the report said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi spoke on Tuesday in the wake of the attack.

El-Sisi extended his “deepest condolences” over the incident, and Netanyahu thanked the Egyptian leader for agreeing to a “thorough and joint investigation,” according to an Israeli readout of the call.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Ahmed Zaki after the attack.

“We agreed to work together to prevent terrorism along our border and to further strengthen defense ties between our countries,” said Gallant. Zaki expressed his “condolences for the deaths on both sides.”

Gallant’s office said in a statement that the minister “expressed his appreciation for the Egyptian defense minister’s commitment to a joint investigation of the details of the serious incident, and emphasized the importance of cooperation in the investigation of the attack to prevent further incidents in the future.”

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