Israel Defense Forces reserves troops patrolling the southern border on Monday morning opened fire on an Egyptian soldier, after mistaking him for an armed militant.

The Egyptian soldier sustained serious chest wounds in the incident, which took place at a section of the border near Eilat not demarcated by a security fence.

According to an IDF spokeswoman, the soldiers shot at the man after he cocked his weapon at them.

The military is still investigating the incident and the IDF commander who oversees that sector has been in close contact with his Egyptian counterparts.

Egyptian officials named the soldier as Abdel Salam Mohamed Abdel Salam, a 21-year-old Central Security conscript. He was taken to the el-Arish general hospital and police were waiting for him to regain consciousness to ask him about the shooting, said the officials.

Shooting incidents between Israeli and Egyptian forces along the border have been rare since a peace treaty in 1979. Egyptian police have shot dead at least six African migrants trying to cross into Israel since May.

The Israel-Egypt peace treaty remains the cornerstone of regional stability and order in the Middle East, an important element in Israel's national security, and the basis for Israel's acceptance as a legitimate player in the eyes of its Arab neighbors.

Egypt has also played a significant role in mediating for the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was abducted by Palestinian militants in a 2006 cross-border raid.