Israel-Egypt border continues to heat up

Monday, June 18, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

A firefight that left three people dead erupted along the Israel-Egypt border on Monday, just two days after Sinai-based terrorists fired two medium-range missile into southern Israel.

Around 6 AM Monday morning, a group of at least three terrorists crossed from the Egyptian Sinai into southern Israel and attacked a group of construction workers who were building a portion of the new border fence.

One construction worker was killed and another seriously wounded in the attack.

A team of IDF soldiers quickly responded to the scene, killing two terrorists and causing the others to flee. The army was still searched for the remaining terrorists at press time, and residents of southern Israel were warned to remain indoors.

On Saturday, forces operating out of the Egyptian-controlled Sinai Peninsula fired two medium-range Grad missiles at targets in southern Israel.

The missiles landed near the Negev town of Mitzpe Ramon and the Uvda Airfield, where Israel is mulling the construction of a new international airport. Both sites had never before been targeted by terrorist rocket fire.

Around this time last year, a terrorist cell infiltrated southern Israel from the Sinai and murdered seven Israeli motorists and one army officer on the highway leading to Eilat.

This week's attacks came as Egyptians were electing a new president for the first time since the fall of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

The leading candidate in the run-off presidential vote that took place over the weekend is Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mursi has already declared victory, and Israel fears that with the Brotherhood in control of both Egypt's parliament and presidency, open war between the two nations is only a matter of time.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that the attacks from Sinai must be curbed.

"Whoever is elected, we expect him to take responsibility for all of Egypt's international commitments, including the peace treaty with Israel and the security arrangements within Sinai, and to put a quick end to these attacks," Barak told reporters following Monday's attack.

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