JERUSALEM, Israel -- An Israeli official blamed Iran for backing a terror attack at the southern border with Egypt.
On Sunday, global jihad terrorists stormed an Egyptian military base in the Sinai desert. They reportedly killed 16 Egyptian soldiers, hijacked two armored vehicles, and headed for the Israeli border.
Israeli troops searched the border area after they prevented what could have been a major terror attack with mass casualties along the Egyptian border.
One of the hijacked Egyptian vehicles blew up as it crashed into the Kerem Shalom Crossing that connects Israel, the Gaza Strip, and Egypt.
The Israeli Air Force targeted the second vehicle, but a number of terrorists jumped out and fired on Israeli troops and were killed.
Former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel said Egypt didn't want to work with Israel to stop global jihad terrorists from gaining a foothold in the Sinai.
"Israel was warning Egypt and the world-at-large that Sinai and Gaza have become a terror base to attack Israel, especially Sinai," Mazel told CBN News. "Now we can say it's a wakeup call for the Egyptians."
Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren blamed Iran for the attack in a Twitter post.
"Iranian-backed terrorists again struck at our southern border today, killing 15 Egyptian guards and attempting to massacre Israeli civilians," Oren tweeted.
Israel accelerated the building of a planned security fence along the Egyptian border over the past year to keep out terrorists and African migrants.
Last year, eight Israelis were killed in a cross-border attack near the southernmost resort city of Eilat.
Mazel said despite the Egyptian losses on Sunday, he's pessimistic that they'll make any changes in Sinai that will be good for Israel.