An Egyptian military helicopter briefly crossed into airspace over the Gaza Strip on Friday, in a possible sign of increased security jitters a week after Egypt’s army toppled President Mohamed Morsi.
Security sources in Egypt and Israel both described the flyover as a navigational error, but it came shortly after terrorists killed an Egyptian policeman and wounded a second in an attack on checkpoints in the lawless Sinai Peninsula across the border from the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
Separately, Egyptian authorities arrested three Palestinian gunmen on Friday during “an attempt to attack vital sites in Sinai,” Egyptian state media reported.
“The helicopter mistakenly crossed into Gazan airspace and immediately returned to Egypt,” the Israeli security source said. Witnesses in Gaza said it stayed on their side of the border for about 10 minutes before returning.
Egyptian army sources have said an offensive in the Sinai against Islamist terrorists may be imminent, though the military is now heavily focused on maintaining order in the streets of Cairo.