The terror attacks in Israel last Thursday were unprovoked and aimed at civilians. The perpetrators originated in Gaza and were able to cross the Egyptian Sinai to Eilat.
It is a serious problem that the Egyptian army, now otherwise engaged, is no longer monitoring that area as closely as heretofore. The situation is getting out of hand as rocket fire emanating from Gaza is increasing, with upgraded rockets supplied by Iran hitting Beersheba and other major towns, informs TheDay.com.
Israel struck back at the time, killing seven gunmen at the border with Egypt in fighting in which five Egyptian security personnel were killed, sparking the Jewish state's first crisis with Egypt's rulers since the toppling of former president Hosni Mubarak in February.
Initial findings of an investigation Israel began after Egypt threatened to recall its ambassador to Tel Aviv, showed Israeli soldiers exchanged gunfire with Egyptian troops after entering Egyptian territory to chase after 12 gunmen who carried out the deadly attacks, the Haaretz newspaper said.
There was no immediate official comment available on the report in Wednesday's edition, which said as well that at least some of the gunmen had worn brown uniforms similar to those of Egyptian troops, reports Reuters.
During Israel's counter-assault, an Israeli helicopter fired two missiles at the gunmen and fired machine guns, killing an Egyptian commander and two other officers. Two more Egyptian troops died later, the Israeli newspaper said.
Gunfire also struck an Egyptian military vehicle during the clashes, but it was not immediately clear who fired those shots, the report added.
Israel also killed another 15 Palestinians in a series of retaliatory air strikes in Gaza after the gun attacks, among them the commander of a militant group it blamed for the border assaults, which denied any involvement, says News24.