The TT was just in on a conference call with the IDF Head of the Foreign Press Branch, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, and with other bloggers and media, concerning today’s terrorist attack on civilian construction workers building the security fence on the Israeli-Egyptian border.
UPDATE: Read B.Rubin’s report on it.
More here as well: Militants cross into Israel from Egypt, 1 killed
Hello, good afternoon. Here is the rundown on this morning’s attack. Everything is on the record, I’ll start with a short description. We are talking about number twelve, the Israeli road that’s part of the country. It happened 30 kilometers south of Gaza along side that road.
Two vehicles of construction workers driving along that road shortly after 6am. The area is also called ‘White River Lake’ 30 kilometers south of Gaza. Three terrorists crossed from the Egyptian side of the border into the Israeli side, waiting and hiding on the Israeli side.
They had activated an explosive device as well as an RPG, firing an RPG, as well as a Kalashnikov at those vehicles. The RPG did not hit the cars, however, the Kalashnikov fire and the explosives did hit one of the cars, caused one of the cars to flip over in a near by ditch resulting in the death of one of the construction workers.
A few minutes later one of infantry brigades arrived at the scene and there was an exchange of fire between the soldiers and the squad (of terrorists). There was a big explosion following the exchange of fire. The result of the explosion was two dead terrorists. We understand that one of the terrorists carried upon his body a very large amount of explosives, we have identified two of these terrorists.
We opened just a few minutes ago the road that was called ‘number twelve’ and notified the five communities that are near by who were instructed to stay within their homes for five hours. We ruled out the possibilty of a third terrorist on the Israeli side, that is why we opened up the roads and allowed the movement of the Israelis living there.
There are two things that are actually similar, another event that happened a bit further from there on the Israeli-Egyptian border last year in August. The first thing was the gear that the terrorists carried upon them was of top quality. They had flack jackets, helmets, they had camouflaged uniforms with Kalashnikovs like I said.
The second thing is that there is a high probability that part of the squad (terrorists) was made on the Egyptian side. Very similar to the events that happened last August. I can also tell you that, ten minutes ago, a separate event, we noticed a separate squad of two terrorists, Beit Chanun area, a part of Gaza and we targeted them.
Over all 280 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel from the beginning of 2012, ten of them from this month.
Q & A
Q: There are rumours that the rockets fired from Gaza on Saturday were ordered by the Muslim Brotherhood. Connections to elections? Anything to that?
A: Too early to reach any solid conclusions. There are numerous terror organizations in the Sinai and quite a few in Gaza as well. Presently we do not know who’s behind the launching of the two rockets on Saturday.
Q: Any idea as to who the terrorists belong to today?
A: I can tell you that we have informed intelligence to investigate any possible link to organizations inside Gaza. We don’t have a conformation at this point.
Q: Were these construction workers working on the fence between Israel and Egypt?
A: Yes 180 kilometers were complete from this portion. Actually the portion of fence where it happened had already been built there, but there were some areas that were still incomplete. I think that by the end of this year the rest of the 40 kilometers will be complete.
I can tell you for a fact that in those areas in which the fence is already up, the numbers of infiltrators actually went down.
Q: The particular group of workers, were they working on the fence?
A: They were on their way there in their vehicles to begin their days work on the fence.