Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said that Sunday's attack by insurgents in Sinai would serve as a "wake-up call for the Egyptians to take matters into their own hands."
Speaking during a briefing at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, Barak added that throughout the incident, Israel was in touch with the Egyptian side, and that a deadlier attack was avoided. He also praised the responses of the Israel Defense Forces, Southern Command and Shin Bet security service.
Though the identity of the assailants remains unknown, Barak said they are operatives of a global jihad network. He added that eight gunmen and 13 to 15 Egyptian soldiers were killed in the attack.
Sunday night's attack of the Egyptian military post and cross-border incursion was the largest attack carried out in Sinai by global jihad operatives against both Egyptian and Israeli targets.
Folowing the deadly strike on soldiers, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called for a meeting of the Supreme Military Council to discuss an action plan.
The attack took place while the Egyptians were breaking the daily Ramadan fast. Two armed groups whose members are identified with Al-Qaida raided the post, a few kilometers from Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, in two off-road vehicles.
They fired RPG rockets and machine guns at the position, one of the Egyptian army's key posts on the border. There were an estimated 20 soldiers at the post at the time of the attack.
The Fahd APC was hit in an Israeli air strike, preventing what military officials said could have been a deadly large-scale terror attack. A second personnel carrier exploded at the Kerem Shalom border terminal, which connects Israel, Gaza and Egypt, before the vehicle could enter Israeli territory.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz also visited Kerem Shalom on Monday morning with Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo and Yossi Bachar, commander of the Gaza Division.
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