JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is neither confirming nor denying that it was responsible for a drone attack on terrorists near its border with Egypt.
In a statement issued late Saturday night, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that ‘‘Israel respects the full sovereignty of Egypt,’’ and that Israel is ‘‘aware of the Egyptian military’s increased activity against terror infrastructures in the Sinai Peninsula.’’
Yaalon said “rumors and speculation” over the drone strike on Friday would not harm the peace between Egypt and Israel. It is believed that Israel and Egypt cooperated in stopping a rocket launch against Israel.
The strike killed four armed members of a terrorist organization preparing an attack on Israel, according to reports.
Egyptian officials at first said Israel perpetrated the attack, but later said an Egyptian helicopter launched the airstrike, according to the Associated Press.
The attack came a day after Israel closed its Eilat airport for two hours, reportedly after warnings from Egypt that terrorists could target the area.
Ansar Jerusalem, a terror group linked to al-Qaida, said its members were the targets of the drone attack.