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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Militants killed after Israeli border crossing between Israel and Egypt

Militants on Monday crossed the border in the Sinai desert in Egypt to Israel and left one worker dead in shooting at Israeli men working in the construction of a barrier. In response, soldiers killed two attackers, said the Israeli army. Hours later, an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza killed two militants on a motorcycle. Islamic Jihad said the dead men belonged to their group. The army said the attack was not connected to the border incident. The attack in Sinai, launched soon after the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt to declare victory in the presidential elections in the country, raised concerns about the lack of Israeli control in the region since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. "We see a worrying deterioration in control of Egypt on the security of Sinai," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak, commenting on the attack. "We are awaiting the election results. Anyone who wins, we hope to take responsibility over all of Egypt's international commitments, including the peace treaty with Israel (1979) and security measures in Sinai, and to put an end to these attacks quickly, "he said. According to the Israeli army, three armed men crossed into Israel from the Sinai desert. The spokesman Yoav Mordechai said that "a terrorist squad opened fire, and possibly also an anti-tank rocket fired in an area where Israel is building the border fence." The soldiers who rushed to the scene killed two militants, but could not find the third, who may have returned to Egypt, the military said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, about 30 km from Gaza. Palestinian militants in Gaza, led by the Islamist group Hamas launched rockets at Israel from the coastal territory in the past. Israel says Palestinian militants crossed into Sinai also to launch similar attacks on its territory. On Sunday night, Israeli warplanes carried out a series of attacks in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the enclave. Medical sources in Gaza said that seven people were injured.

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