Egypt Reportedly Sets up Anti-Aircraft Missiles in Sinai Desert

August 19, 2012 12:51 pm 14 comments

President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Photo: wiki commons.

Egypt has set up anti-aircraft missiles in the Sinai Desert, without notifying Israel and in violation of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, according to Israeli reports, even as Egypt’s new leader has seized control of Egypt’s vast bureaucracy.

Israeli officials are not speaking publicly about the missile transfer that is only the latest and perhaps the most serious of actions by Egypt’s new Islamic regime that may signal the imminent failure of the Egyptian-Israeli treaty:

  • Egyptian  President Muhammad Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood,  swiftly and unexpectedly replaced the pro-US chiefs of staff of Egypt’s armed forces, and he also installed pro-Brotherhood journalists as editors of Egypt’s top newspapers;
  • Morsi, who asserts an extreme form of Sunni Islam,  is set to go to Iran this month to parley with Iran’s leaders who express a militant version of Shiite Islam, both of whom have doctrines calling for Israel’s destruction.

“We are talking about missiles: anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles that the Egyptian Army has introduced into  Sinai, according to reports, in violation of the peace treaty between the two states,” declared Eran Singer, Arab Affairs commentator of The Voice of Israel Radio.

“This is something that is happening these recent days,” added Singer, who did not mention his sources, but it is likely the information came from the Israeli army (IDF).

Putting missiles along Israel’s border, without Israel’s permission, was one of the central factors leading up to the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, when Egypt used the cover of anti-aircraft missiles to attack on Yom Kippur.

But the commentator says that the missile move is only the most visible part of sweeping changes in Egypt since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the pro-US autocrat who led Egypt for 30 years.

“Morsi is now the head of the executive branch, and he appoints and dissolves governments in Egypt, [but] he is also the legislative branch in the absence of a parliament. and [can] … enact any law he wants.,” said Dr. Guy Bechor, one of Israel’s top Arab affairs experts.

“The new Egyptian leader is also in charge of foreign policy, domestic policy, security, economy and more,” added Bechor, who specializes in legal and journalistic analysis of Arab society at the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya.

“He finalizes international agreements, interprets the constitution, and has the power to appoint a taskforce that will draft a new constitution. And so, after a year and a half of semi-anarchy, Egypt is once again a country ruled by one person – a dictatorship.”

Bechor said “the current dictatorship is even harsher than Mubarak’s, whose decisions were reached together with parliament, political parties and the courts. Here we are talking about one man who controls everything.”

Avi Yissacharoff, Arab affairs reporter for Haaretz newspaper, agreed, noting that Morsi had effectively become the king of Egypt.

The movement of Egyptian missiles comes at a time of great regional unrest, and it raises the stakes and the tension on Israel’s southern border even as intense pressure is growing on Israel in the north and the East:

  • In the east, Jordan faces growing instability as Bedouin tribes, formerly strong supporters of the monarchy, are protesting economic conditions, and as more than 150,000 refugees have streamed into the country from war-torn Syria;
  • In the north, Lebanese-based Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said his pro-Iranian militia would launch its rockets and mortars at Israel inflicting  “tens of thousands of deaths” if Israel tried to strike at Iran;
  • Also in the north,  Syrian opponents of the Assad regime—largely drawn from Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood—may get control of some of Syria’s stores of advanced weapons: rockets, missiles and bio-chemical warfare stores, and they are trying to get American-made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

The dramatic regional developments are forcing Israeli strategic planners to change their assumptions and force allocations, according to sources in the Israeli security community. For example, the head of Israel’s Golani Brigade said his forces were now geared more to meeting a jihadi threat from Syria than the traditional threat posed by the regime of Bashar Assad.

Dr. Michael Widlanski, an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of  Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat published by  Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He was  Strategic Affairs Advisor in Israel’s Ministry of Public Security and teaches at Bar Ilan University.

14 Comments

  • Religion should be judged by the actions of its followers. Moslem scholars go to great lengths to explain that in essence Islam is a tolerant peaceful religion. To non-Muslims , the general impression is quite the opposite. Christianity, Judaism , Hinduism , Buddhism, to name but a few non-Muslim religions… The followers of these religions preach tolerance and understanding of other religions as the overriding truth is that we are all creations of God and so we must be respected as divine creations of The Pantocrator. Judgement can only come from Him and Him alone. Those that advocate the destruction of God’s divine creations whether it is through their interpretation of their Holy books or teachings of their religious leaders is blasphemy. If Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion then it is up to all Moslems who have true faith to work towards the ideals of that religion and not to remain silent to violence and intolerance towards non-Muslim peoples and nations.

  • Michael Koenigsberg

    This s further proof that Israel cannot allow itself to allow threats from the Arab world to c0ntinue.We must ask Hashem to guide us.Originally we ha secured the sina only to give it up for so called peace with Egypt.We must take stand and insist Egypt remove any trace of weaponary or we will remove it by force.Israel is the only country in the world that had to give up land it had won in a war-Awar of self defence.

  • If Hassan ‘Nazirallah’ from his ‘Wolf’s Lair’ hiding-hole dare order his 1,000s of rocket to reign down on Israel, The
    Lebanese Government will have to take the blame, they then should prepare themselves this time for the total destruction of ‘The Lebanon’ and this time no infrastructure
    will be left whatsoever, The once ‘Jewel in the Middle-East’
    will be turned into dust.
    Mohammed Morsi the new Jew-hating member of the ‘Moslem Brotherhood’ President-King of Egypt should think twice on embarking on any Iranian ideas of destroying the ‘Jewish-State’ otherwise he will take a very bad tumble together with his whole collection of Jew-hating bretheren.

  • Perhaps it is too obvious to need to be stated: the Egyptians cannot use anti-aircraft missiles against Al Qaeda. But only against Israel. They must be removed immediately.

    • Darrell McCluskey

      The only problem that can possibly arise from this self defense measure by Egypt is if Egypt is once again the subject of unprovoked attacks. Then these self defense missiles may be used for self protection by Israel. To go on with the propaganda that is spewing forth from the antagonistic illegal invaders of Palestine is just a nonsense.A trouble making nonsense.

      • Dear darrel simply put you are a fool that chooses to forgo the basic truth of supporting goodness in face of evil, to bring forth your venomous hate for jews. You dont have to hide behing the guise of palestinion freedom to express your point.

  • It’s obvious that Egypt has not learned from their past mistakes. Each time that Egypt launches an assault against
    Israel, they are defeated and taken down quickly. Almost all of their military equipment is destroyed and they suffer a
    tremendous loss of life.

    It is written that “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep!”

  • Soon…the only objects left standing in Egypt will be the Pyramids…radiating a fifty year half-life…certainly will dicourage tourism!

  • Since 1928 the Muslim Brotherhood has dedicated itself to killing Jews. It supported Hitler for that purpose. MorsI is Muslim Brotherhood. His primary purpose in life is Jew killing to emulate Mohammad at Quarazeh. This is so predictable..

  • Bechor said “the current dictatorship is even harsher than Mubarak’s, whose decisions were reached together with parliament, political parties and the courts. Here we are talking about one man who controls everything.”
    ———

    Parliament? You mean the parliament he rigged the elections on to get his cronies jobs to rubberstamp his decisions?

    Wow Egypt is becoming a vast land of yellow journalism against Democracy. No wonder Morsi and the Brotherhood want to weed you out.

  • “He finalizes international agreements, interprets the constitution, and has the power to appoint a taskforce that will draft a new constitution. And so, after a year and a half of semi-anarchy, Egypt is once again a country ruled by one person – a dictatorship.”

    ——-
    Really? I could have sworn it was ruled by Tantawi for the past 18 months.

    • Egypt is a dictatorship run by Muslim brothers. What is so hard to understand? the papers cannot criticize the new king, there is no opposition, the young people who led the revolt are not power, the revolution was stolen by the brothers – even the egyptions agree to that. 100,000 christians already fled the country, i wonder why? The Muslim brothers have clear ideas about Sharia state and the destruction of Israel which is not legitimate in their view.

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