PM at Kerem Shalom: Israel can only rely on itself (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON, YAAKOV KATZ, JPOST.COM STAFF 08/07/12)
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu joined Defense Minister Ehud Barak
on a tour of the Kerem Shalom area Monday where a terrorist
infiltration was thwarted Sunday night.
Netanyahu, near the burned out stolen Egyptian armed jeep, praised
the soldiers and officers at the scene for their preparedness for the
"I also want to express my sadness at the killing of the Egyptian
soldiers. I think it is clear that Israel and Egypt have a joint
interest in a quiet border," he said.
At the same time, Netanyahu said the failed attack proved once again
that when it comes to the security of Israeli citizens, Israel "can
and must rely only on itself. There is no one except the IDF and
security forces of Israel that can do this, and we will continue to
Earlier Monday, Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committeethat that he hoped the attack would spur Egypt to take
stronger action in the Sinai Peninsula.
"Perhaps this will be necessary wake-up call for the Egyptians to
take matters in their hands in a more serious way," Barak said.
During a tour of the Kerem Shalom Crossing, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-
Gen. Benny Gantz said that “a large disaster was averted.”
In the ambitious and sophisticated attack on Sunday night, global
jihad terrorists infiltrated Israel after breaking into an Egyptian
military base and stealing two vehicles, including an armored jeep.
One of the vehicles, a small pickup truck, exploded as it rammed
through a section of the fence near the Kerem Shalom crossing, which
is shared by Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip. A number of terrorists
succeeded in exiting the second vehicle before it was destroyed by an
air strike. They crossed into Israel and engaged in a firefight with
IDF troops. Eight terrorists were killed in the gunfight.
During the raid on the Egyptian base, around 15 Egyptian soldiers
were killed. IDF sources said the attackers were probably Beduin
residents of Sinai who were part of a larger global jihad terror cell
based in the peninsula.
“These are terrorists who are connected between the Gaza Strip and
the Sinai,” Gantz said during a tour of the border with OC Southern
Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo. “This was a joint operation of
intelligence agencies, the Israel Air Force and the IDF infantry and
armored units which worked all together and succeeded in ending the
attack within 15 minutes from when it began.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the Egyptians know very
well the significance of Sunday´s attack and what they need to do,
and don´t need Israel´s advice.
Liberman, on a tour of the northern border with other members of his
Israel Beytenu party, said it was clear in Cairo that the attacks in
Sinai are bad for Egypt´s´ national security, for its economy and
tourism trade. "I hope the Egyptians will draw the conclusions," he
The conclusions Jerusalem hopes the Egyptians draw is that they will
act more forcefully in Sinai to stamp out the global Jihadist
terrorism growing there, and which threatens both Israel and Egypt.
Liberman, asked whether Israel sent any messages to the new
government in Egypt since the attack, said that Jerusalem was in
daily contact with Egypt.
"I don´t think Egypt needs any advice from us, they alone understand
the significance of this type of actions," he said. "I only hope that
they draw the conclusions and we see results as fast as possible for
the good of the whole region."
On landing in Athens at the start of his state visit to Greece on
Monday, President Shimon Peres, at the official reception hosted by
his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias, offered condolences to the
people of Egypt.
It is in the interests of both Egypt and Israel to maintain peace and
quiet on both sides of the border, and throughout southern Israel, he
said. Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 08/07/12)
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