June 6, 2023 | Flash Brief

Cairo Tells Jerusalem: Egyptian Border Guard Killer Went Rogue

June 6, 2023 | Flash Brief

Cairo Tells Jerusalem: Egyptian Border Guard Killer Went Rogue

Latest Developments

An Egyptian border guard who killed three Israeli soldiers on June 3 had gone rogue, Cairo told Jerusalem on June 6 as the neighbors pursue a joint investigation. The guard, identified in Egyptian media on June 5 as Mohamed Salah Ibrahim, was shot dead after he killed the soldiers in two separate incidents on the Israeli side of the frontier fence, which he had managed to cross unnoticed.

The incident tested security ties between Israel and Egypt, many of whose citizens are hostile to their northern neighbor. Speaking by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on June 6, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi emphasized the importance of the countries coordinating in the ongoing investigation, Sisi’s office said.

Expert Analysis

“Israel lost three of its young soldiers in a murderous infiltration by a member of the Egyptian security services. Yet Egypt, in its public messaging, seems unwilling to acknowledge the possibility that the killer had been radicalized in a country that still demonizes Israelis, despite the close security cooperation between Cairo and Jerusalem.”— Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Cairo’s response to the deadly attack has been disappointing. Cairo should leverage this opportunity to advance much-needed reforms in Egypt, a country that has more work to do to promote a culture of tolerance towards its Jewish neighbors. Sisi has an opportunity to lead by example. He should walk the walk of peace and publicly reach out to the bereaved Israeli families to offer his condolences.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network


A readout published by the prime minister’s office about Netanyahu’s conversation with the Egyptian president stated that Sisi had voiced “deepest condolences about the incident on the Egyptian border.” The readout from Sisi’s office, however, made no mention of him offering condolences. Asked about the Egyptian reticence, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Cairo had been embarrassed. “We are receiving updates from the Egyptians, who say that the incident involved an officer who had gone rogue — a problematic officer. We know that this was indeed an incident that they were not aware of,” Cohen told Israel’s Army Radio.

Related Analysis

Egyptian border policeman kills three Israeli troops,” FDD Flash Brief

Israeli Soldier Killed in Border Clash with ‘Terrorists,’” by Bill Roggio


Arab Politics Egypt Israel