'Unexpected humiliating blow': Israeli media on Egypt border operation
Multiple Israeli media outlets criticize the vulnerability of the Israeli occupation forces pointing to structural deficits following the operation that killed three soldiers.
Israeli media outlets took special notice of the operation at the Palestinian-Egyptian border which took "Israel" by storm, as the blunders of the Israeli occupation forces have become one of the hottest debated topics within the entity.
The details of the operation, which was described as "brutal", are unclear, prompting troubled discussions in Israeli circles ranging from issues related to the occupation forces' doctrine to basic operational readiness in order to deal with the "multifront war" it faces.
Amos Harel, the military affairs expert for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, pointed to the vulnerability of the Israeli army as he called for "a thorough military investigation into deficiencies that made it [the operation] possible and to review defense along this border," which has seen relative quiet as "Israel" has been able to coordinate security-wise with the successive Egyptian governments.
Harel believes that the event should push the Israeli army to "reexamine the entire defense strategy and assess whether there is an appropriate balance among forces, posts, and means of observation, given the extraordinary length of the border," which is around 240 km long.
The Israeli expert said the incident was "serious and exceptional both in its circumstances and in its fatal outcome," adding that such events are usually pinned on soldiers or police officers who "went crazy", however, this major security breach should be further examined.
What happened at the Ajwa Crossing?
At approximately 9 p, local time, a male soldier and a female soldier took up their positions in an observation tower situated 3 kilometers northwest of the Awja Crossing, also known as "Nitzana."
Later at dawn on Saturday, at around 6 am, gunfire erupted in the vicinity of the observation post, which led the male and female soldiers to inform their command of what they heard and they decided to conduct a search operation around the tower. Contact with the soldiers was lost, and it remained severed until a military force was dispatched to their location.
By approximately 9 am, the responding force discovered that both soldiers had been killed and their weapons found beside them. In response, an extensive search operation was initiated, and additional military reinforcements, including airborne units and fighter helicopters, were deployed.
Around noon, the spokesperson for the Israeli army made an announcement stating that a renewed exchange of gunfire had taken place in the area. Approximately thirty minutes later, it was reported that an armed individual, identified as an Egyptian citizen wearing Egyptian police attire, had been killed. Following this, the Israeli army confirmed the death of a third Israeli soldier and the injury of an officer.
The fact that an Egyptian security officer successfully crossed the border, bypassing all security measures, to later kill two Israeli soldiers before exchanging fire with an Israeli force and killing a third soldier has completely shattered the image of the Israeli occupation army. The situation prompted senior experts and commentators to ask difficult questions with no answers amid calls for an investigation into this horrific failure of the occupation army, according to Israeli media.
Military affairs analyst for Israeli Channel 12, Nir Dvori, said, "The harsh incident in the south indicates a weakness in operational readiness on the ground and raises questions about future readiness in regard to smuggling from Sinai."
He pointed out that three points must be taken into consideration, detailing them as: the way the Egyptian security official who carried out the operation “infiltrated through the fence,” the fact that he was not detected and remained under the radar for a long time of time, and the fact that the two soldiers were wounded with no one knowing about it for many hours.
According to Dvori, this is an indication of “weakness in the force that runs the area. Within borders that are more than 200 km long, with sensors and radars installed throughout… despite all that, the army failed."
In this context, he called for continuing to draw lessons, at a time when three Israeli soldiers are being buried.
The Israeli occupation forces were dealt a severe and unexpected blow in an unforeseen area on the border with Egypt. Israeli commentators describe the strike as "painful" and "embarrassing" on both the political and military levels.
The Israeli media extensively examined the failures exposed by this operation, shedding light on the shortcomings of the Israeli occupation army. Yossi Melman, an Israeli expert in security affairs, said during an interview for Israeli Channel 12, "If it is confirmed that the Egyptian soldier managed to cross the border undetected and lay in wait for the Israeli soldiers, then it signifies a profound failure on the part of the Israeli army." Melman further emphasized, "The ongoing joint investigation is unlikely to provide satisfactory answers to the challenging questions that arise from this incident."
Melman recalled a similar incident that occurred in 1985 when seven Israelis were killed in Sinai on the Red Sea coast, where an Egyptian police officer opened fire on Israelis. He mentioned that this incident has now been repeated with an Egyptian police officer opening fire on Israelis.
He pointed out that it is very difficult for the Egyptian police officer to cross the border, and if he did cross the border, it would be a double failure. Melman questioned Israeli security's inadequacies, "How did the surveillance personnel not detect him? Where are the sensors in the fence, and where are the cameras there? What was the real intention of the police officer who opened fire?"