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Egyptian troops kill 2 smugglers trying to enter Israel

Netanyahu promises to finish building barrier along the southern border

Construction on the new barrier along the Israeli-Egyptian border in March (photo credit: Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)
Construction on the new barrier along the Israeli-Egyptian border in March (photo credit: Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says Egyptian troops have killed two smugglers who attempted to enter Israel.

The military says a patrol identified the group along the border with Egypt and fired warning shots toward them. The smugglers fled into Egypt along with Arab contacts from the Israeli side.

Egyptian officials confirmed killing one Egyptian Bedouin and one Israeli Arab.

The largely lawless Sinai Peninsula has become a staging ground for smuggling of arms, drugs and migrant workers into Israel.

Israel is building an electronic barrier along the 230-kilometer (150-mile) border with Egypt to keep out militants and migrants.

Before the border incident Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the barrier and pledged to have it completed soon. He said the fence had stopped floods of infiltrators.

“The government did well when it decided to deal with this dangerous phenomenon,” he said. “Think what our situation would be if we had delayed. Within a decade, the country might have been flooded with hundreds of thousands of illegal work infiltrators. The fence is a good response to illegal work infiltrators, criminal smugglers and terrorists.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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