Jerusalem, Aug. 6 (Xinhua-ANI): Israel's envoy to the United States on Monday blamed Iran for Sunday night's attack by Sinai militants against both Israel and Egypt, which left at least 15 Egyptian security personnel dead, the Israeli army on high alert, and thousands of Israelis in nearby communities in a night-long lockdown.
Iranian-backed terrorists again struck at our southern border today killing 15 Egyptian guards and attempting to massacre Israeli civilians, Ambassador Michael Oren wrote in a Twitter post, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Terrorists also shelled Israeli farms and towns along the border earlier in the day, Oren wrote. The salvos of rocket and mortar shells came after Israeli Air Force aircraft struck two global jihad members, killing one and wounding a second.
The attackers, which Israel believes were Bedouin members of the global jihad, commandeered an Egyptian armored personnel carrier and a truck during a raid on an Egyptian police station. They fired rocket-propelled grenades and small arms at the policemen.
One booby-trapped vehicle exploded at the Kerem Shalom border terminal, which connects Israel, Gaza and Egypt, before it could enter Israeli territory.
Israeli Air Force aircraft destroyed the second vehicle, and its fleeing occupants before they could get far into Israeli territory and reach dozens of farms and towns in the vicinity. There were no casualties to Israeli forces or civilians.
This is a wake-up call for the Egyptian to take matters into their own hands, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a briefing on Monday before the Knesset (parliament) Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Barak praised the Israeli forces' fast response for thwarting the attack on the Israeli side of the border, and said that Israel and Egypt were in contact throughout the event.
Israeli military officials believe the raiders meant to take either Israeli soldiers or civilians hostage, in the largest-ever such attack of its kind against the two countries.
Had it succeeded, the attack would have been very severe, according to an Israeli army official. A major disaster was averted.
The army gave the thousands of residents in the vicinity the all-clear Monday morning, and they were permitted to return to their daily routine. (Xinhau-ANI)