Cleared for publication: A terror attack was thwarted overnight Thursday when IDF soldiers stationed near the border with Egypt spotted a man carrying a rucksack containing an explosive device weighing 15 kilograms (33 pounds).
IDF reservists operating near Eilat ordered the man to stop, and then proceeded with the army's arrest procedure, which included gunfire. The terrorist tossed the rucksack and fled the scene.
Soldiers who searched the area found the rucksack, and sappers conducted as controlled-detonation of the bomb, which was apparently meant to be used to carry out a terror attack within Israeli territory.
Southern Command Chief Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant praised the soldiers' conduct.
Sappers prepare to detonate bomb (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The army is currently trying to figure out whether the terrorist was a Gaza resident who entered Sinai through an underground tunnel in Rafah or whether he belongs to one of the global jihad organizations which operate in the Egyptian-controlled peninsula.
"Palestinian terror organizations operating in Gaza, as well as groups affiliated with global jihad will continue trying to establish terror infrastructures with the aim of launching attacks by way of the Egyptian border," an IDF official told Ynet in response to the incident.
Other military officials said the army has increased its activity along the Israel-Egypt border over the past year. A few months ago security forces apprehended a Gaza resident who had infiltrated Israel through Sinai. During his interrogation the man said he had planned to carry out terror attacks and kidnappings. He is currently on trial at the Beersheba Magistrates' Court.