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November 30, 1990 - Image 74

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Israel Lodges Protest
With Egypt Over Murders

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Tel Aviv (JTA) — Israel
has lodged a strong protest
with Egypt over a bloody in-
filtration incident that left
three Israeli soldiers and a
civilian bus driver dead.
Twenty-three people were
wounded in the shooting
spree, perpetrated by a lone
gunman last week on a
border road about 12 miles
northwest of Eilat.
The gunman, wearing the
uniform of Egyptian border
police, was wounded by
Israeli return fire but
managed to retreat across
the Egyptian border, where
he was immediately taken
into custody.
Egyptian authorities
apologized and promised the
assailant would be dealt
with to the full extent of the
The Israel Defense Force
identified two of the dead
soldiers as Regiment Sgt.
Maj. Avi Serlin and Chief
Sgt. Chaim Ashkenazi. The
third dead soldier was not
immediately identified.
The slain civilian was
identified as Eliezer
Zakoura, an Egged bus
driver from Eilat.
The incident occurred on
the Rafah-Eilat road near
Ein Netafim. The road
parallels the Egyptian
According to the IDF
commander in the region,
the Egyptian gunman cross-
ed the border where it is
delineated by stone markers
and lay in wait some 300
yards inside Israel, along the
isolated but well-trafficked
Two buses and two
military vehicles were
traveling separately, several
minutes apart. The dead
were all the drivers of their
respective vehicles, in-
dicating that the infiltrator
took deliberate aim as each
vehicle came into view.
The first that approached
was a light military
transport truck with only
the driver aboard. He was
wounded but managed to
drive on until he met an
army patrol, which he
alerted to the danger.
Next to pass the ambush
was an IDF Peugeot, whose
driver was fatally wounded.
The vehicle continued for
several hundred yards
before it stopped, its driver
already dead.
The third vehicle was an
army bus, empty except for
the driver, who was on his
way to the Ovdat Air Force

Base to pick up passengers.
The driver stopped, got out
of the bus and was shot dead.
Another military vehicle
heading for Eilat slowed
down at the sight of trucks
and buses stopped on the
side of the road. Thinking
there might have been an
accident, the driver slowed
down and was shot to death.
Finally, an Egged bus
came along carrying civilian
employees of the Ovdat base
to work accompanied by IDF
armed guards. The attacker
signaled the bus to stop and
opened fire as its slowed
An armed guard wounded
by the volley returned the
fire, hitting the Egyptian,
who at that point fled back
across the border.
Six of the wounded re-
mained hospitalized; the

apologized and
promised the
assailant would be
dealt with to the
full extent of the

others were treated and sent
Foreign Minister David
Levy summoned the Egyp-
tian ambassador, Mohamm-
ed Basiouny, to the Foreign
Ministry in Jerusalem to
register a formal complaint
over the incident.
Deputy Foreign Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu said
Israel would hold Egypt
responsible for the attack.
Credit for the shooting was
claimed by the Islamic
Jihad, a fundamentalist
group active in the intifada.
The incident was the most
serious between Israel and
Egypt since Feb. 4, when
masked terrorists opened
fire on a tourist bus near the
Suez Canal port of Ismailia,
killing nine Israelis and two
Another incident occurred
on Oct. 5, 1985, when an
Egyptian border policeman
shot and killed seven Israeli
tourists on the beach at Ras
Burka in Sinai, about 25
miles south of Eilat. Three of
the victims were children.
The assailant subsequently
hanged himself in an Egyp-
tian prison.

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