In that attack, gunmen who infiltrated from Sinai attacked motorists on a border road north of the Red Sea resort of Eilat, leaving eight Israelis dead. Israel responded with an airstrike in the Gaza Strip that killed six people, including the leadership of the Popular Resistance Committees.
Israel has since accelerated work on the fence, which was originally planned as an obstacle to thousands of African migrants and asylum seekers who sneak across the border each year.
Despite decades of calm since Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979, their desert frontier has become more volatile in recent months, as militants seek to use the Sinai area as a launchpad for cross-border attacks.
On Friday, two rockets that Israeli officials said were fired from Sinai landed in southern Israel. In April, at least one Grad rocket landed in Eilat.
Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defense official, said in a radio interview that extremist groups inspired by Iran and al-Qaeda were “trying to establish themselves in Sinai in order to undermine the government in Egypt and . . . carry out attacks in Israel in order to complicate relations between Israel and Egypt.”
Lawlessness in Sinai, where local Bedouin tribes have long complained of neglect and repression by the Egyptian authorities, also has increased since the revolution. Gunmen have attacked police posts and repeatedly blown up a natural gas pipeline that supplied Israel under a deal widely criticized in post-revolutionary Egypt. The gas shipments have since been canceled.
Bedouins in the Sinai have kidnapped tourists for use as bargaining chips to get relatives in prison released. Security officials also say arms smugglers have taken advantage of lax security in the area to smuggle weapons from Libya.
Also Monday, an Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinian militants from the Islamic Jihad group as they rode a motorcycle in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, local medical officials said.
A statement by the military said aircraft had targeted a squad of snipers that had fired into Israel recently, including a shooting at an Israeli farmer near the border with Gaza last week.
Staff writer Ernesto Londoño in Cairo contributed to this report.