Two Israeli police injured in friendly fire incident on Egypt border
Two Israeli border police were lightly injured on Thursday in a friendly fire incident on the Egyptian-Israeli border when they were mistaken for drug smugglers.
The Israeli army said that a huge drug-smuggling operation, involving at least nine attempts to move drugs across the border, took place on Israel’s frontier with Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday night.
An Israeli army spokesperson said that it was "one of the most active nights on the Egyptian border in recent memory", according to The Times of Israel.
The spokesperson added that the smuggling attempt - in which the two police officers were mistakenly shot by army soldiers - was a "violent one".
It allegedly involved drug smugglers driving up to the Egyptian side of the border in armoured vehicles and firing rounds in order to prevent the Israeli army from approaching the area.
An Israeli army battalion returned fire, while a border police vehicle carrying the two officers also approached the border.
However, the border police vehicle was mistaken by the Israeli army for an Israeli smuggler vehicle looking to collect drugs from the Egyptian side.
The army fired on the vehicle's tires and the soldiers were lightly injured.
They were later taken to a medical centre in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba for treatment. The Israeli army said it would investigate the matter, which came after a similar incident last month when two officers were shot dead by a fellow officer in another case of mistaken identity.
The Israeli army and police said that they had managed to seize 400kg of drugs with an estimated value of $2.5 million but made no arrests, according to The Times of Israel.