Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Israel Looks to Sinai as Egypt Crisis Grows

July 9, 2013 1:51 pm 0 comments

The scene of a terror attack in Sinai. Photo: Screenshot.

JNS.org – Israel should do all it can to help the new secular government in Egypt beat the Muslim Brotherhood, even if that means amending the Military Annex of the Camp David peace accords to allow more Egyptian military assets into the Sinai Peninsula, the former director of Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office Brig. Gen. (Res.) Nitzan Nuriel said Sunday.

Speaking to Army Radio, Nuriel said a defeat for the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters in the Sinai would reverberate across the Middle East, and would be of huge strategic importance to Israel.

Pointing to increasing instability in the Sinai, Israeli Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman (Likud-Beytenu) warned over the weekend that jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula are taking advantage of the current turmoil in Egypt to stage attacks on Israel.

“What is transpiring in Egypt should in no doubt be worrying us,” he said. “This is our largest neighboring country, the first one we signed a peace agreement with, and clearly instability over there carries implications for the entire region. It is in our interest for Egypt to be stable and in full control over its territory.”

A Salafi terror group took responsibility for rocket fire on Eilat last Thursday. The Sunni extremist group Jamaat Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis stated in a message from its Sinai base that the group would continue to target Israel.

“Jews, enemies of Allah, are those who are responsible for what is happening in Egypt and their long arm is to blame for the current situation,” the statement said. “We bombed them to scare them and let them know that Allah is with us.”

In addition, a new Islamist terrorist group in the Sinai calling itself Ansar al-Shariah announced its formation amid the chaos. The group, in a statement posted on an online forum for terrorists, said it would gather arms and start training its members, Reuters reported. The group blamed the turmoil in Egypt on secularists, Egyptian Coptic Christians, state security forces and army commanders.

Ansar al-Shariah denounced democracy and said it would instead champion Islamic law (sharia), acquire weapons, and train Muslims to “deter the attackers, preserve the religion and empower the sharia.”

An Israeli defense official told Israel Radio on Saturday that the global jihad call to fight the Egyptian army over the weekend will “lead the army to take further action against Islamist elements and make a determined effort to restore order.”

Last week, Egypt sealed numerous tunnels to prevent arms smuggling from Sinai into Egypt that may destabilize the mainland. The Israeli defense official told Israel Radio that while events in Egypt were a blow to Hamas, the terror group would continue to maintain its cease-fire with Israel because it is in Hamas’s own interests to do so.

Meanwhile, Egyptian security officials say suspected Islamic terrorists have bombed a natural gas pipeline to Jordan south of the city of el-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula.

In addition to starting fires that were quickly put out, the attacks early Sunday on two points on the pipeline disrupted the flow of natural gas, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

In January, suspected Islamic terrorists attacked a police patrol along a Sinai pipeline, wounding seven policemen. Though it had come under attack more than a dozen times in the previous two years, Sunday was the first attack on Egypt’s natural gas pipelines in Sinai in more than a year.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the pipeline and checkpoint attacks, or if they were in reaction to the Egyptian army’s overthrow of Morsi on July 3.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    JNS.org – Alan Gross used to be nothing more to me than a tragic headline. When I started my position at this news service in July 2011, Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 for what that country called “crimes against the state.” Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet. After his arrest, he received a trial he describes as a “B movie,” […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    JNS.org – When I saw the recent Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short,” I was struck by the sheer genius of the financiers who devised the schemes and packaged the loans for resale, but it left me with unanswered questions about how the properties these loans represented were moved. “The Big Short” was largely about paper transactions, big money, and wealthy investors, and it mildly touched on the way the actual end-users — the home buyers and brokers — played into this […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Why do we think so negatively about psychiatrists that we still insult them by calling them shrinks? Some medics might be quacks, but we don’t generally refer to them as witches! Shrinks; The Untold Story of Psychiatry, by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is a sobering account of how psychiatry has swung from a marginal, unscientific mixture of weird theories into one of the most common and pervasive forms of treatment of what are commonly called “disorders of the mind.” Is it […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    JNS.org – Nine months ago, Seth Cohen, director of network initiatives for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and Randall Lane, editor of Forbes Magazine, were schmoozing about the “vibrancy of Tel Aviv and soul of Jerusalem,” as Lane put it. They dreamed about how they could bring young and innovative millennials to the so-called “start-up nation.” From April 3-7, Forbes turned that dream into a reality. Israel played host to the first-ever Forbes Under 30 EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) […]

    Read more →