Defense officials expect attacks along the border with Egypt to continue, Army Radio reported on Monday.
Following the attack on Sunday night in which terrorists overran an Egyptian police position and then crashed through a border crossing into Israel in a stolen armored vehicle, defense sources said the incident shows just how volatile the border with Egypt is.
Former IDF anti-terror chief Nitzan Nuriel told Army Radio that the attack represented a leap in how brazen terror groups were becoming.
“There’s no doubt that the terrorists that carried this out took a huge risk in engaging Egyptian security forces,” he said. “It seems that global jihadis are becoming a beacon for regional terror and that is very troubling.”
No Israelis were injured in the attack, though the terrorists killed 16 Egyptian policemen. The IDF destroyed the advancing armored vehicle shortly after it crossed into Israel.
The military spokesman told reporters intelligence services had reports of an impending attack from Egypt and therefore were ready to thwart it.
Israeli military spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said Israeli intelligence services had information about an impending infiltration and sent aircraft to strike a second car the militants had seized from the Egyptian forces.
Mordechai told Army Radio, “We were prepared for it, therefore there was a hit.”
Like Egyptian officials, he blamed Islamist militants from Gaza and Egypt’s lawless Sinai Peninsula.
Late last week Israel issued a travel warning, advising tourists to leave the Sinai peninsula.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz toured the scene of the clash on Monday morning and spoke with soldiers involved.
Searches for any remaining terrorists ended Monday morning and residents of the region, told to stay indoors last night, were told they could leave their homes.
The Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza will remain closed Monday because of the attack.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the Egyptian military council have vowed to retake control of the Sinai peninsula and to punish those responsible for the attack.