Israeli Bedouin Worker Killed in Sinai Shooting Incident

YERUSHALAYIM -
An armored Israeli military vehicle drives along the border of the Sinai peninsula, near the Nitzana crossing in this picture, taken January 30, 2014. (Reuters/Amir Cohen/Files)
An armored Israeli military vehicle drives along the border of the Sinai peninsula, near the Nitzana crossing in this file picture. (Reuters/Amir Cohen/Files)

A teenager Israeli civilian was killed by gunfire along the border with Egypt on Tuesday, the IDF said.

The army said in a statement that the shooting did not appear to be connected to terrorist activity and that the Israeli and Egyptian militaries were investigating the incident.

The defense ministry named the victim as Nimr Abu-Amar an Arab Israeli of the Bedouin town of Rahat, who worked for a contractor firm it had hired to carry out maintenance work on the border fence.

He died of his wounds while being airlifted to an Israeli hospital from the remote Israel-Egypt border area in the Negev desert where the shooting occurred, an army spokeswoman said.

Bassam Abu-Amar, Nimr’s father, said his son had accompanied family members working on the border fence doing odd jobs and preparing coffee for other members of the crew.

Egypt is battling an Islamist insurgency in the rugged and thinly populated Sinai peninsula bordering Israel, but incidents in recent years at the frontier have been rare.

According to one report, the worker was riding in a vehicle that apparently accidentally crossed the border. The jeep was targeted by a shooter, and the worker, who was employed by a private company that had contracted with the Defense Ministry for construction of the security fence, was injured. He later died of his wounds.

Sky News quoted an Egyptian security official as saying that the shots had been fired by a border defense officer, who thought that he was shooting at border smugglers.

Also Tuesday, firefighters successfully doused a blaze next to the Anatot army base in the Binyamin region. Officials said that the fire started after Arab terrorists threw a firebomb at the base.