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TEL AVIV – Israeli intelligence has information that elements of the Al-Nour Party, an Islamic extremist group that controls the second largest bloc in Egypt’s parliament, called for today’s deadly terrorist attack that killed an Israeli civilian in the country’s south, WND has learned.
An Israeli security source said there is further information about planned attacks, including against tourist sites in the Sinai as well as within Israel, if the Egyptian military follows through with a threat to dissolve the parliament.
The source said today’s terror attack in Israel was coordinated by Jihadiya Salafiya, the military branch associated with Al-Nour, along with jihadist elements in the Sinai. The source said today’s attack was also meant as a protest against the threat to dismantle the Islamist-controlled parliament.
This is the second time in recent days such accusations were made by Israel.
On Friday, rockets were fired from Egypt into Israeli Negev population zones. Israeli security officials told the Hebrew news media those attacks were launched by request of senior leaders from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
In an unusual move, the Israel Defense Forces today deployed two tanks near the Egyptian border in technical violation of a treaty with Egypt that calls for the area to be demilitarized. The deployment of the tanks indicates that Israel likely has specific information about further terrorist attacks planned along its border.
In today’s attack, an initial investigation shows three terrorists reportedly penetrated Israel’s fence along the Gaza-Sinai border, where they placed an explosive device and waited for Israeli vehicles to pass by. Another cell of terrorists waited on the Egyptian side of the fence.
The terrorists inside Israel then triggered a roadside bomb against two contractors’ vehicles while terrorists on the Egyptian side fired rocket-propelled grenades – which did not strike vehicles – as well as small arms. An Israeli civilian driver was killed during a shootout between the terrorists and Israeli forces who arrived on the scene.
Two terrorists were killed as a result of the firefight, with the third gunman escaping back into Egypt. IDF forces said they found Kalashnikov assault rifles, grenades, helmets, bullet-proof vests and camouflage clothing at the site of the terrorists’ bodies.
Tal Hermoni, commander of the Southern Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces Gaza Division, praised the response of his forces, explaining the “outcome could have been much more serious and a large-scale attack was averted.”
“The fast response of the soldiers in the field, including Golani soldiers, prevented a more severe outcome,” Hermoni said. “The forces acted swiftly and responded as expected, thwarting a larger attack.”
Today’s attack comes as Egypt’s ruling military council pledged to hand over power to the newly elected president, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi, who reportedly took nearly 52 percent of the vote. Final official results are expected Thursday.
It remains unclear exactly how much power either Morsi or the parliament will have. Egypt’s military council recently issued an interim constitution that gave it sweeping authority over the presidency and parliament.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Democratic Alliance controls the most seats in the parliament followed by the so-called Islamic bloc, which consists largely of the Al Nour Party.