Three Israeli Soldiers Killed on Egyptian Border

Three Israeli Soldiers Killed on Egyptian Border

Major General Eliezer Toledano, Chief of Southern Command, meets with soldiers at the scene of a deadly shooting on the border with Egypt on June 3, 2023. (Photo - Israel Defense Forces)


The Israel Defense Forces announced Saturday that three of it’s soldiers were shot and killed near the border with Egypt.

The story as it is currently understood is that an Egyptian police officer crossed the border into Israel, apparently chasing drug smugglers, where somehow a confrontation with an IDF frontier post led to a shootout between the Israelis and the Egyptian officer, which led to the deaths of two Israeli soldiers, Staff Sergeant Ohad Dahan and Sergeant Lia Ben Nun, assigned to the Bardelas Battalion.

IDF personnel discovered the soldiers when the border post failed to respond to radio contact and immediately treated the incident as a terrorist attack. Shortly after, Israeli forces identified the breach and caught up with the Egyptian, where a shootout occurred, leaving one more Israeli and the Egyptian officer dead.

Staff Sgt. Ohad Dahan, 20, (left) and Sgt. Lia Ben Nun, 19, (right). (Photo – Israel Defense Forces)

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared that the military “will investigate the event as required”. Egypt released a statement stating:

“At dawn today, Saturday, corresponding to 3/6/2023, one of the security forces assigned to secure the international border line chased drug smuggling agents. During the chase, the security personnel breached the insurance barrier and exchanged fire, which led to the death of (3) members of the Israeli security forces, the injury of (2) others, in addition to the death of the Egyptian security personnel during the exchange of fire. All search, inspection, and insurance measures are being taken for the area, as well as taking legal measures regarding the incident. Sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and our wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured.”

Both nations have announced that the investigation will be conducted jointly and in full cooperation so as to avoid an international incident.

The incident reportedly took place around the Nitzana border crossing, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of the point where Israel’s border with Egypt and the Gaza Strip meet.

The Nitzana border crossing, the approximate location of where the shooting took place. (Photo – Google Maps)

IDF personnel are still on high alert, as it remains unclear if the officer was acting alone or if other assailants may have been involved and still dangerous in the area.

Though drug smuggling attempts in the area are frequent, Egypt and Israel enjoy a high degree of cooperation along the relatively peaceful border.

It should be noted that the details of this incident are still unclear and information can change.

Joshua Paulo
Joshua Paulo
Combining a Criminal Justice and International Relations background, Josh boasts years of experience in various forms of analysis and freelance journalism. He currently spearheads a team of professionals committed to delivering unbiased reporting to provide the public and private sector with accurate and insightful information. Josh serves as Atlas's Director of News.
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