Israel Beefs Up Security At Egypt Border

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TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 24 (UPI) — Israel bolstered its security along the Egyptian border on intelligence reports indicating terrorists planned to attack Israelis, officials said.

Israeli Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz ordered the army to bolster security along the border and gather intelligence using electronic and visual means to track down the terrorists, The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz said. The new measures went into effect Wednesday afternoon.

An initial inquiry by the army into last week’s terror attack near Eilat in which eight Israelis were killed indicates at least three of the terrorists were Egyptian nationals, Ynetnews.com and Haaretz said.

One of the terrorists belonged to a radical Egyptian group and was jailed in Egypt but escaped during the first days of anti-regime protests.

Details of the investigation were submitted to Egyptian officials by Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, head of the army’s General Staff Planning branch, who traveled to Cairo earlier this week, Ynetnews.com said.

Eshel also showed Egyptian officials photographic evidence to support the findings, the Web site said.

The report showed Israeli soldiers did their utmost to prevent Egyptian soldiers and border guards from being hurt during gun battles that erupted between Israeli soldiers and terrorists who fled to the Egyptian side of the border.

Videos taken from aircraft showed Israeli soldiers intentionally diverted fire from the Egyptian all-terrain vehicles and soldiers towards open areas near the border base, the site said.

The investigation also found Egyptian army troops spotted the terrorists but did nothing to detain them. The terrorists wore uniforms similar to those worn by the Egyptian army, the site said.

Five members of Egypt’s security forces were killed in the attack prompting Egypt to demand an apology from Israel. Violent protests erupted in Cairo with demonstrators demanding an end to the peace treaty with Israel and calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

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