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Last Updated: Monday, 27 December, 2004, 22:45 GMT
Israeli 'failure' on Egypt deaths
Egyptian soldiers patrol on the border between Egypt and Israel
Israel has been accused of firing indiscriminately in the border zone
The recent killing of three Egyptian police officers on the border with Gaza resulted from "professional failure", according to an Israeli army inquiry.

Israel's army chief, Gen Moshe Yaalon, told his Egyptian counterpart about the conclusions in a telephone call.

Gen Yaalon had reprimanded those involved, he said in a statement.

An Israeli tank opened fire on the police last month after mistaking them for Palestinian militants trying to cross into the Gaza Strip.

The shooting occurred in an area said to be one the main routes for weapons smuggling into Gaza.

Gen Yaalon said the failures related to "professional failure of the IDF force regarding the method of operating tanks in that area, and failure in the control and command of the forces."

The killings prompted public uproar in Egypt and condemnation from Cairo.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon apologised to President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt and Israel have been at peace since 1979.




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