Gunshots were heard along the Israeli-Egyptian border, , and one Israeli civilian has been killed.
By: Hana Levi Julian
Published: October 25th, 2016
Photo Credit: Yuval Nadal / Flash 90
An Israeli civilian was shot and killed near Mount Harif in the Negev Desert along the border between Egypt and Israel on Tuesday afternoon, according to Israel’s Defense Ministry.
The victim was a civilian contractor for the Defense Ministry who was carrying out maintenance work on the security fence at the time he was hit by gunfire from the Egyptian side of the border.
He was airlifted from the scene in an IDF helicopter and rushed to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, but he died of his wounds within minutes.
The source of the gunfire is not yet clear.
Egyptian military personnel have been battling terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula for years.
According to the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, there are eight to 14 different terrorist groups with a “marked presence in Sinai,” including the Sinai Province branch of Da’esh, or ISIS, also known as Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis.
There are also a number of Al Qaeda-linked extremist groups such as Tawhid Wal Jihad, Ansar al-Jihad and Ajnaf Bait al-Maqdis — all of which are also “linked to Palestinian extremist groups that fight Israel and consider the Egyptian army an enemy.”
The Muhammad Jamal Network, linked to Al Qaeda and also based in the Sinai Peninsula, was listed by the United States as a terrorist organization in October 2013. Jamal was arrested in 2012 but his followers carried on; the group is also known as the “Al-Jihad al-Islami” group.
Numerous other terrorist groups are also operating in the area, including the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hamas, the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Iranian proxy Hezbollah, and a number of Salafi Islamist groups such as the Army of Islam.