A device with a “very large amount of explosive material inside” was discovered on the Israel-Egypt border fence and safely detonated by the IDF on Tuesday, according to IDF spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich. Speaking with The Mideast Update by phone, Leibovich said the bomb’s intended target remains unclear, although it may have been part of an attempt to smuggle it into Israel for a terror attack.
“One of the options is that it would have reached the hands of a terrorist somewhere, and then that terrorist will take it with him to a mall, to a coffee place, or one of those places, in order to target the population,” said Leibovich. “…I think it’s too early to know exactly what was the source and the original plan, but definitely when you try to smuggle some sort of explosive belt, it’s not for peaceful reasons.”
The bomb was in a bag, similar to a duffel bag, and is estimated to have held a few kilograms of explosives and metal balls to intensify the damage of the blast. The Israelis set off the explosive in a controlled detonation. No one was injured in the blast.
Last Friday, an explosive was set near the security fence between Gaza and Israel in attempt to target Israeli soldiers.
Terrorism from the Egyptian-controlled Sinai Peninsula, which borders both Gaza and Israel, has been a concern for Israel. Egyptian security in the region has been weakened by the popular revolution that took place in the country one year ago. A major, multi-stage attack in the south of Israel last August was believed to have included terrorists who came from the Sinai.
Leibovich said that in 2011 there were nearly 17,000 infiltrators into Israel across the Egyptian border, the majority of which were those seeking employment etc.—illegal immigrants. However, she noted that terrorists can also try to sneak into the country.
Said Leibovich, “There is an increase in the infiltration attempts into Israel, and those infiltration attempts can actually serve for the platforms of terror… When they’re smuggling people, the platforms of the smuggling can result in also smuggling terror means, weapons and explosive belts like we’ve seen today.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, February 21, 2012)