Errant gunfire from Sinai hits Israel; no injuries

Army vehicle slightly damaged in what IDF describes as spillover fire from across the border

An IDF solider patrols the Egyptian border in 2011 (Nati Shohat/Flash90/File)
An IDF solider patrols the Egyptian border in 2011 (Nati Shohat/Flash90/File)

Gunfire from the Sinai Peninsula struck Israel on Sunday night, in what the military said was likely accidental spillover from fighting across the border.

A military spokesperson did not pinpoint where the errant fire occurred, but said it was close to the Israeli security fence on the Egyptian border.

There were no reports of Israelis injured by the gunfire, but an army vehicle was lightly damaged, the army said.

Egyptian forces have been fighting a bloody insurgency by salafists linked to the Islamic State in the northern Sinai for several years, with near-daily bombings and shootings.

On Saturday, Egypt launched a major shakeup of its security services, in an apparent reaction to an ambush by militants outside Cairo last week that killed at least 16 police troopers.

Last Friday’s attack took place in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza province, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) southwest of Cairo — a gateway into Egypt’s vast Western Desert which leads to lawless Libya. Authorities consider the area an infiltration path for smugglers and militants, and have blamed some past attacks on extremists moving through.

The ambush’s brazenness and location raised the specter of the simmering insurgency creeping closer to the capital, which has been largely secure and far from what has long been its main front — a northeastern corner of the Sinai Peninsula.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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