With the threat to the border fence increasing daily, it is becoming apparent that diplomatic cooperation between Israel and Egypt is needed in order to halt the extremist Jihad terror cells in the Sinai Peninsula.
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Egypt's new Prime Minister Hesham Kandil has stressed that he would work together with the Egyptian army and interior ministry to "avenge the blood of those killed."
Gantz and Russo tour terror attack site (Photo: IDF Spokesman)
On Monday Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz toured the scene of the attack with Brigadier General Tal Russo who reconstructed the events: "The vehicle met with an (IDF) force at every point it tried to infiltrate," he said speaking of the Egyptian armored vehicle stolen by the terrorists.
"There were quite a few clashes before (the vehicle) was destroyed. Armored forces, the Air Force and infantry forces closed in (on the vehicle) and eventually it was destroyed from the air and on the ground.
"Those who attempted to escape and fire at the forces after (the vehicle) was destroyed, were also eliminated," said Brigadier General Russo of the terrorists who tried to escape the armored vehicle.
"On the whole there was a great deal of cooperation together with excellent cooperation between the forces," he added.
Gantz views blown up armored vehicle (Photo: IDF Spokesman)
Gantz added: "Before the debriefings are completed, I can see that a massive disaster was prevented – a very complex terror attack carried out by terrorists connected between Sinai and Gaza, in a very well carried out operation that combined the intelligence forces, Air Force, armored ground forces, infantry and the Shin Bet."
According to the chief of staff, the handling of the incident was amazing in that the entire episode was over within 15 minutes and within that timeframe everyone integrated to work together seamlessly.
Meanwhile, Egyptian media reported that Egyptian army units have "completely surrounded" the city of Rafah (on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza) as part of the effort to apprehend suspects in the terror attack that killed 16 Egyptian policemen and injured about seven others Sunday evening.
In a report published on Al-Ahram's online edition Monday morning, a security source is quoted as saying that Egyptian army helicopters, accompanied by ground forces, have launched a manhunt for the suspects in the deadly attack on an Egyptian police station in the northern Sinai Peninsula, near the border with Israel.
The forces have surrounded Rafah to prevent the suspects from escaping, the report said.
Also Monday, Egypt's minister for parliamentary affairs Mohamed Mahsoub has demanded that the Sinai security arrangements be reexamined following the terror attack near the Kerem Shalom border crossing on Monday.
Mahsoub, who made the statement in a tweet, added that "Egypt would regain its honor on every centimeter of its land."
Hamdeen Sabahi, who placed third in the Egyptian presidential elections as the revolutionists' candidate, criticized Israel for attacking terrorists inside Egyptian territory. He said Israel acted with complete disregard for Egypt's sovereignty in the region.
Sabahi also called for a reexamination of Egypt's security arrangements with Israel, which he claimed was needed in order for Egypt to maintain full sovereignty over Sinai.
Yoav Zitun contributed to the report
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