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Southern Gaza borders Sinai, and infiltrators can exit Gaza through tunnels under the border.

Several hours after the attack, an Israeli airstrike killed two men on a motorcycle in the northern Gaza Strip near the Israeli border. The Islamic Jihad said the men were members on a “reconnaissance” mission and vowed revenge.

Israeli military officials said the incident was not connected to the earlier infiltration from Egypt.

The mountainous Sinai desert harbors an array of militant groups, including Palestinian extremists and al Qaeda-inspired jihadists, Egyptian and Israeli security officials say.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio that there has been “a worrisome deterioration of Egyptian control” over the Sinai.