Two Egyptian soldiers were killed near the border on Wednesday after two armed men, suspected to be Bedouin trying to smuggle drugs into Israel, fired at them.
The men had crossed the border from Egypt near Kadesh Barnea and were spotted by a Golani force nearby. After the Golani soldiers fired in the air and then at the men's legs, the men fled back into Egypt, where they were spotted by Egyptian soldiers.
The Egyptian soldiers opened fire at the men, who fired back and killed two of them.
Now the Israel Defense Forces fears that Egypt will blame Israel for the two soldiers' deaths.
The IDF held an investigation after the incident and determined that no Israeli soldier fired toward the border or at the Egyptians.
The violent clashes with demonstrators in Cairo and other Egyptian cities have not stopped smuggling attempts into the Gaza Strip and Israel. In addition to weapons smuggling into Gaza, terrorists and criminals try to bring into Israel goods, refugees, drugs and prostitutes.
Meanwhile, demonstrators clashed with security forces on Wednesday west of the Suez Canal; in this incident, at least one Egyptian was killed. Also, along the open border, smugglers tried to infiltrate into Israel.
Since the Egyptian revolution, the southern front has become a headache for Israel. Israeli intelligence considers Sinai a "black hole." Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces' ability to deal with the smuggling is extremely limited.
Israel, the IDF and Southern Command are making efforts to finish the new fence along around 240 kilometers of border. Two weeks ago some 70 kilometers had been finished. Barring any delays, defense officials hope to complete the fence by the end of next year.
The terrorists trying to infiltrate Israel leave the Gaza Strip via the tunnels and then try to cross the border. Several of them have been captured in recent years on their way to carry out terror attacks in Israel.
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