IDF soldier at scene of clashes with terrorist on Egypt border - Hershkovitz - June 18, 2012
An IDF soldier positioned at the scene of clashes with terrorists on Egypt border, June 18, 2012. Photo by Eliyahu Hershkovitz
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Eliyahu Hershkovitz
An IDF soldier positioned at the scene of clashes with terrorists on Egypt border, June 18, 2012. Photo by Eliyahu Hershkovitz
An exchange of fire between IDF and terrorists took place near Be'er Milka on June 18, 2012.
An exchange of fire between the IDF and terrorists took place near Be'er Milka on June 18, 2012.

An Israeli citizen and two terrorists were killed Monday morning during clashes between Israel Defense Forces soldiers and gunmen who infiltrated the southern border with Egypt.

An initial investigation reveals that three terrorists penetrated the fence along the Gaza-Sinai border on Monday morning, placed an explosive device on Philadelphi strip near Be'er Milka, and waited for Israeli vehicles to pass by.

After several minutes, the device exploded on one of the vehicles, and the gunmen opened fire. They also fired an RPG rocket, which missed its target. As a result of the shooting, one of vehicles rolled down a hill and wounded an Israeli citizen who was working on the construction of the border fence. The man died of his wounds shortly afterward.

The IDF's Golani Brigade arrived at the scene and began exchanging fire with the armed men. At least two terrorists were killed as a result of the firefight, and IDF soldiers began searching for the third terrorist. Other than the two bodies of the terrorists, IDF forces found Kalashnikov assault rifles, grenades, helmets, bullet-proof vests, and camouflage clothing.

A short while later, the IDF ruled out the possibility that the third gunman remains in Israeli territory, and believed the terror cell returned to Sinai. Egyptian forces began searching for the gunman.

Israeli communities near the border have been put on high alert, and Route 10 and 12 were blocked for incoming traffic for several hours.

The attack followed a few days of intelligence warnings.

On Sunday night, a Qassam rocket was fired toward the Eshkol Regional Council. No one was wounded in the overnight attack.

Overnight Friday, rockets were fired toward Ovda and Mitzpeh Ramon, which Israeli security officials say were launched after a request by senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Remains of a rocket, 12 millimeters in diameter, were found Saturday morning near Ovda, which is north of Eilat.