Around 8:15 pm on Sunday, August 5, 2012, a truck hijacked by a terrorist cell in an Egyptian base near Rafah exploded at the Kerem Shalom crossing on the Israel-Egypt border. The second vehicle, a hijacked APC, entered Israeli territory with four terrorists inside. It was targeted by the Israel Air Force.
The IDF reported that global jihad terrorists in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula stormed an Egyptian military post near the town of Rafah around 8:15 pm on Sunday, August 5, 2012, killing more than 15 Egyptian soldiers and capturing an armored personnel carrier (APC) and a truck filled with explosives.
The two vehicles then headed toward Israel. The truck exploded at the Kerem Shalom crossing on the Israel-Egypt border. The APC entered Israeli territory with four terrorists inside. It was then targeted by the Israel Air Force.
The attack came shortly after a mortar barrage from the Gaza Strip pounded the Kerem Shalom border crossing in Israel and rockets were fired at adjacent towns. It is believed that the terrorists who tried to infiltrate Israel were planning a major terror attack. No Israelis were reported injured in the attack. Israeli residents in the area were told to stay inside their homes late into the night.
As a result of the attack, the Kerem Shalom crossing will remain closed for the transfer of goods between Israel and Gaza on Monday, August 6.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated the IDF for thwarting the attack and called on the new Egyptian government to immediately work to restore control over Sinai.
The burnt APC the morning after the attack (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)
PM Netanyahu: "I would like to praise the IDF and ISA for foiling a very major terrorist attack. You deployed and acted properly. I would also like to express regret over the killing of the Egyptian soldiers. I think that it is clear that Israel and Egypt have a common interest in maintaining a quiet border. However, as has been made clear on numerous occasions, when it comes to the security of the citizens of Israel, the State of Israel must and can rely only on itself. Nobody can fulfill this role other than the IDF and the security services of the State of Israel and this is how we will continue to act."
DM Barak: "The incident that could have transpired with all the explosive material that was brought in the small truck that exploded at the start, as well as the suicide bomber belts on the six to eight terrorists who were in the armored vehicle… there is no doubt that if they had entered a town here or an army bases by surprise, they could have caused very serious damage."
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Earlier, in a joint IDF-ISA operation, IAF aircraft targeted a Global Jihad-affiliated terrorist squad in the southern Gaza Strip which was planning another terrorist attack in the immediate future near the Israel-Egypt border. One of the terrorists, Ahmad Said Ismail, was among those responsible for the June 18, 2012 terror attack adjacent to the Israel-Egypt border, in which an Israeli civilian was killed.