A 15-year-old contractor working for the defense ministry was killed Tuesday afternoon after sustaining at least one gunshot wound while carrying out reinforcement work on the fence on the Israel-Egypt border.

The fire appears to have emanated from Egyptian territory, and hit in the Mt. Harif area of the Israeli Negev.

Attempts by medics to save the victim, who was later identified as Nimer Bassem Abu Amar from the Bedouin town of Lakiya, were to no avail as he succumbed to his wounds while being evacuated to the Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva.

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Initial assessments indicated the gunshots came not as a result of an attack but rather as a result of a misunderstanding which ensued, according to a reported quote by Egyptian security officials, following an exchange of fire between Egyptian border police with a drug smuggler on the border.

However, after being in close contact with the Egyptian army, Israel later ruled out the possibility that a terror attack or a smuggling attempt on the border had led to the shots. Moreover, it later emerged that the fatal shot had been fired by an Egyptian likely from the border police stationed at the usually calm border.

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Route 10, which runs along the border, has been closed to traffic since a terror attack which occurred there  in 2011. It was opened to traffic during the Sukkot holiday, but has since been closed again.

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The fence—made up of steel, electric detection cables and barbed wire—which runs the length of the Israel-Egypt border, has been instrumental in stemming the flow of drug traffickers, terrorists, and illegal immigrants infiltrating into Israel.

 

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