Report: Western Security Officials Confirm Israel, Egypt Armies Battling Terrorists Together in Sinai

August 14, 2013 11:46 am 8 comments

Satellite image of the Sinai.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed Western security officials, confirmed media speculation that this weekend’s onslaught against terrorists in the Sinai came through coordination between Egyptian and Israeli security forces, although neither side would confirm that they work with the other.

“Israel’s intervention in the Sinai Peninsula—which Egyptian officials denied, and which Israeli officials neither confirmed nor denied—would be the clearest manifestation of the high-level interaction between Israeli and Egyptian military and intelligence chiefs, according to the Western officials. Such cooperation between the U.S. allies has increased since last month’s ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, these officials say,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

On Friday, the Associated Press cited two senior Egyptian security officials as saying an Israeli drone strike inside of Egypt in the troubled Sinai Peninsula had killed five suspected terrorists preparing to launch rockets into Israel. AFP cited the Egyptian military as saying that it coordinated the strike with the Israel Defense Forces.

“The attack was preceded by communications between senior Israeli security officials and their Egyptian counterparts” who “discussed the threat posed by the rocket crew and response options,” the WSJ reported.

“The understanding on both sides is that Israel will take direct action only as a last resort if the Egyptians aren’t in a position to stop an imminent threat from the Sinai,” said Western officials cited by the newspaper, “Such an Israeli intervention would be ‘very rare’ because of Egyptian sensitivities.”

“The arrangement shows the extent to which the Israeli and Egyptian militaries have closed ranks against militants massing on the peninsula,” the WSJ said.

On Sunday, in Sheikh Zuweid, North Sinai, Reuters’ Aswat Masriya website reported that the Egyptian army killed 15-17 militants in an “anti-terrorist” military operation. For two hours late on Saturday evening army Apache helicopters targeted “terrorist” sites in the town of Al-Thoma, south of Sheikh Zuweid and the army used loudspeakers to warn citizens against leaving their homes to shield themselves from rocket fire from military helicopters.

The WSJ cited a “senior Israeli official,” who declined to comment on any understanding between the two countries, but said the security situation in Sinai represents a threat to both countries. “We are respectful of Egyptian sovereignty in Sinai and we are very supportive of Egyptian efforts to deal with these challenges and we have good military to military cooperation,” the official told the WSJ.

“A senior American official” described military cooperation between Israel and Egypt as “better than ever,” the WSJ said.

Since the overthrow of Morsi’s Mulsim Brotherhood regime in Egypt last month, the Egyptian and Israel forces have worked, according to the the New York Times, to close 80% of the tunnels in Sinai that had been used for smuggling goods and weapons to Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist ally, in Gaza.

At a press conference in July, Major General Osama Askar, commander of Egypt’s Third Army, accused Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, of attempting to smuggle 19 Grad rockets from Gaza. Egyptian soldiers intercepted the rocket shipment along the Suez-Cairo highway, which Askar charged was on its way to Cairo to help the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ala Al-Rafati, Hamas’s economy minister, told Reuters last month that tunnel closures since June had cost Gaza around $230 million – approximately a tenth of the GDP of the territory.

In exchange for allowing the IDF to help Egypt control the Sinai, the WSJ cited “Western officials” as saying Israel has lobbied in Washington on behalf of protecting “U.S. military aid to Egypt despite the army’s ouster of the president, arguing that the money helps underpin the 1979 peace accord between the two countries. If U.S. aid is cut off, the Egyptian military could start scaling back their cooperation, Israeli officials have warned their American counterparts.”

The newspaper said Egypt’s new national security adviser, Raafat Shehata,  and Gen. Nader al-Aasar, who was recently promoted to head Egyptian intelligence’s international relations branch, both have ties to Israeli intelligence, and ”helped facilitate the agreement between Egypt and Israel to make an exception to the three-decade-old Camp David peace treaty and allow Egypt to send a surge of military forces into the Sinai to combat the growing militant threat there, the Western officials said.”

“Israel’s military uses real-time images along the border with the Sinai from blimps, drone aircraft and satellites to spot potential threats, as was the case on Friday,” according to Western officials cited by the Journal.

The newspaper quoted Anthony Cordesman, a defense expert at Center for Strategic & International Studies, as saying that the cooperation reflected a convergence of interests. “There is a real risk that the Sinai will become an area where the Egyptian military and police are going to lose their freedom of action and ability to move,” he said. “And it’s clear that Israel has every possible interest in stopping that from happening.”

8 Comments

  • Mr. Obama is like a flame moving from country to country burning everything he can burn. In my opinion better america and western power keep off their hand in Egypt other wise thursty Russia and China will come and arm these against the new govt.of egypt.
    The reality these powerful nation are roaming around like wolf looking for their frey then after that they will spit the fire until it become a full blown fire.
    The last to suffer is the innocent civilian, children and women who is always helpless.

  • Why battle al-CIA-da terrorism in the Sinai, why not battle terrorism from where it originates, that is, CIA headquarters and the Vatican NWO gov mafia.

  • I wouldn’t trust the Obama Government as far as I could throw them. Obama is a Communist hiding behind Socialism. He is destroying the US.

  • I would not trust Obama & his adviser. USA can be treacherous with the best.

  • It is my view that the appearance of obama being against sisi is a red herring for the street. I believe he gave sisi the green light for the coup. He cannot be seen to be undermining a democratically elected govt but Morsi was not cooperative enough on the sinai and on hamas. The GCC (Qatar/saudi) fund sisi and MB. Obama funded and trained AQ with GCC for almost 2 years while pretending to sit on the fence re arming syrian “rebels”. The Obama/GCC alliance allows the GCC to do what obama cannot be seen to do. israel is also cooperating with the GCC in the gaza cease fire and on Syria.

    • Saudi hates the MB and never funded them as Qatar has done. The proof is that they gave Egypt several billion dollars in assistance immediately after the removal of Morsi

  • Mubarak was a loyal ally but he was not adverse to anti Israel sentiment on the street. Qaddafi while sending envoys to Israel to call off the US coming attack and offering all sorts or concessions to Israel, was calling for a third intifada. His son trying to get street cred over his brothers was starting to send flotilla’s to Gaza. Assad said no uprising in Syria because of his anti-Israel stance. So the Hamas charges against Morsi are a two way bet, if things go bad they will do what they all always do turn on Israel to try to save themselves. So if the 1.3 billion gets cut off I would be seeking it redirect to Israel. Sinai is a problem more to the Suez than to Israel hence the railway. So you could see Egypt broken up into three states north, south and east via a civil war. And the Suez impassable. For 1.3 billion they can use the railway of course the Chinese are first cab off the rank as they are paying for it and building it.

  • Israel and Egypt, under the military rule, go against the Obama doctrine…Cooperation without US mediation. That´s a gambit that US was not expecting. Obama wanted the MB in power, foes of Israel, so he could manipulate the two countries relations, as it happened during the last Gaza war. Al-Sissi in power is a good thing for both countries (less for the MB, Hamas and Obama). Egypt can receive help from Israel, military (intelligence and possibly air support) and politically, since Israel still has friends (congresspersons that are still able to think) in both Houses that could oppose counter maneuver by Obama. The Sultan will take his revenge along the PA-Israel so-called “peace conversations”. Wait and see.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.