PM on the Egyptian border: No one can protect Israel but Israel (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By RAPHAEL AHREN and STUART WINER 08/06/12)
TIMES OF ISRAEL
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Barak: Terrorists armed with suicide belts could have caused serious
damage; Peres offers condolences to Egpyt
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on
Monday visited the site of a terror attack that took place the night
before near the Egyptian border, saying that only Israeli security
can protect the country’s citizens.
“I think it’s clear that Israel and Egypt have a common interest in
keeping the border quiet,” said Netanyahu. “Having said that, it
becomes clear time after time that when it comes to the safety of
Israeli citizens, Israel must and can rely only on itself. No one can
fulfill this role except the IDF and different Israel security forces
of Israel and we will continue to conduct ourselves like that.”
Barak said the eight terrorists killed by Israeli forces were armed
with suicide belts and could have caused major damage inside Israel.
“There is no doubt that if they had entered a town here or an army
bases by surprise, they could have caused very serious damage. Once
again it was proven here how acute intelligence, a quick response,
and operational capabilities, can make all the difference,” he
said. “I appreciate that this will not be the last time that we come
across attempts to harm us. … I hope that we will have many more
successes of this type, but we must also stay vigilant for the
On Sunday night, Israeli troops averted a major terror attack on the
Kerem Shalom border crossing on the Israel-Egypt-Gaza border, during
which Islamists planned to infiltrate Israeli territory. Sixteen
Egyptian border policemen were killed by the terrorists. No Israelis
Netanyahu and Barak were briefed by Maj. Gen. Tal Russo, who heads
the IDF’s Southern Command, and Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen. Standing
next to a burned-out Egyptian armored vehicle the terrorists had
commandeered, Netanyahu praised the IDF and Shin Bet officials for
thwarting what he said would have been a “very large” terror attack.
He also expressed sorrow for the Egyptian servicemen who were killed
during the incident.
Earlier in the day, Barak said he hoped the attack would spur Egypt
to clamp down on terrorists in the Sinai.
President Shimon Peres, who was visiting in Greece, offered his
condolences to the Egyptian nation following the attack, Maariv
reported on Monday.
“Terror strikes hit everyone without discrimination,” Peres said
during a meeting the Greek President Karolos Papoulias. “I want to
extend my sincere condolences to the Egyptian people for the needless
loss of human life. Both sides (Egypt and Israel) have an interest in
a quiet border, and Israel will continue to ensure a quiet border in
Peres praised the Israeli security forces for their readiness,
intelligence information, and quick response, that prevented a
serious incident on the Israeli side of the border.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also offered its condolences in the
wake of the attack.
“Israel wishes to convey its condolences to Egypt and to the Egyptian
people following the killing of security forces servicemen by
terrorists,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a
statement. “This barbaric attack has caused the death Egyptians, and
was meant to slay Israelis as well. Moreover, it aimed to shatter the
peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. Peace between the two
countries has been, and still is, an interest shared by both peoples;
Israel will continue to act in a spirit of cooperation with Egypt in
order to preserve this vital interest and ensure security and
stability in the region.” (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 08/06/12)
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