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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘eilat’

As Egypt Nears Civil War, Israel on High Alert

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The dramatic escalation in Egypt’s domestic conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military is being accompanied by an upsurge in the activities of jihadi organizations in the Sinai Peninsula.

Since Morsi’s ouster, extremist Salafi and jihadi organizations have launched waves of attacks on Egyptian security forces, and provoked this week’s extensive counter-terrorism operation by the Egyptian army.

These Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces are also seeking to strike Israel — both to satisfy their ideological demand for jihad against Israelis, and to try and force Israel and Egypt into a confrontation, thereby undermining the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

The Israel Defense Forces are therefore on high alert in the event of further attacks by terrorists in Egypt, while also facing the dilemma of how to safeguard its own national security without infringing on Egyptian sovereignty at this most sensitive time.

Two unprecedented incidents on the southern border in just the last few days, however, served as markers for the rapidly changing situation.

First, according to international media reports, an Israeli drone struck an Al-Qaeda-affiliated organization in Sinai, as it was making final preparations to fire rockets at Israel.

While Israeli defense officials have not confirmed or denied the reports, if true, they represent the first preemptive counter-terrorism strike on Egyptian soil.

If Israeli intelligence receives word of an imminent attack taking shape in Sinai, with little time to coordinate a response with Egyptian military forces, such action might be expected.

Islamists across Egypt were quick to seize on the incident to accuse the Egyptian military of being complicit in an Israeli breach of Egyptian sovereignty.

Although this incident was quickly forgotten by Egyptians as both Egypt proper and Sinai descended into turmoil, there is evidence that further attacks by Sinai terrorists against both Egyptian security forces and Israel are being planned.

An additional signal of the deteriorating security situation in Sinai was the rocket fired by a terrorist organization at the Red Sea tourist resort city of Eilat over the weekend.

Anticipating the attack, the IDF stationed an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery in the city. The prior preparation paid off: the system fired an interceptor that successfully stopped the rocket from hitting the city.

The rocket failed to hurt anyone, but it did trigger an air-raid siren and frighten tourists, sending them scatting for cover. Unlike the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, which are used to Palestinian rocket terrorism, Eilat, a resort town, is not used to living under rocket fire.

Today, a shadow of uncertainty hangs over the future of the city’s tourist industry. For now, Israeli visitors to the city are displaying trademark resilience, and are continuing to pack the city’s hotels and beaches.

Nearby, however, the IDF continues on high alert, watching every suspicious movement in the desert sands near the Egyptian border for signs of the next attack.

IDF Re-Opens Eilat Airport Departures after Scare Warning

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

The IDF allowed departing flights to take off from Eilat’s international airport Thursday night after ordering it closed for two hours, without any explanation other than to note “an evaluation of the situation.”

The temporary closure probably was connected to terrorist activity in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula, where Egyptian forces have arrested approximately 100 terrorists in the past several days.

Planes taking off from Eilat have been equipped with an anti-missile system since this past April in order to defend passengers against shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles that terrorists are known to possess.

IDF Closes Eilat Airport to Arriving Planes

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

The IDF has ordered the immediate closure of the Eilat Airport to incoming flights but is allowing planes to leave.

The military did not explain the order except to say that the decision was made “following an evaluation of the situation.”

Navy Arrested Major Weapons Smuggling Operation on High Seas

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

The Israeli Navy has foiled an apparently major weapons smuggling operation in the Red Sea and arrested suspects for questioning, according to security forces who lifted a gag order Tuesday on the eight-month-old counterterrorist operation.

The IDF added that the suspects have been released. Israeli media reported that they probably are from Yemen, which raises the possibility that the smugglers are connected with Taliban or Al Qaeda.

The length of the investigation and gag order  before the announcement indicates that the arms and weapons were heavy-duty, possibly anti-tank or anti-aircraft missiles.

The Red Sea borders Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula, as well as reaching the port of Eilat.

Security officials were tight-lipped about the capture of the ship and weapons, but it is a good guess that the weapons were destined for terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, possibly for smuggling into Gaza.

 

IDF Discovers Grad Missile Fragments north of Eilat

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Israeli soldiers on Tuesday found fragments of a Grad missile that was fired on the city from the Sinai Peninsula last Thursday, when residents heard at least two explosions.

The military went on high alert over the weekend because of the violence in Egypt and clashes in the Sinai.

Orthodox Jew in Coma after Fainting at Aharon’s Tomb

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Jordan has transferred to an orthodox Jewish tourist to Eilat after he collapsed at the tomb of Aharon in Petra and was driven in an ambulance towards Eilat, when he suffered another attack. The ambulance turned around and rushed to a hospital near Petra. He was reported to be in a coma.

The chairman of the Jordanian Parliament’s Committee of Tourism and Antiquities, Adnan Farajat, denied an Israeli newspaper report that an Israeli helicopter had airlifted the man to Israel via Taba.

 

Islamic Militants Attack in Sinai as Egypt Prepares for Friday Riots

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Armed Islamic militants attacked the positions of Egyptian security forces in Rafah and El Arish in the northern Sinai this morning. Rockets were fired at a police station in Rafah which stands right outside a base of the Egyptian military intelligence service.

At least one Egyptian soldier was reprted killed and two wounded.

Egyptian security forces in the El Arish airport were also attacked by Islamists armed with RPGs and grenades. There were no reports of injuries or serious damage.

Egypt is on alert this morning, before Friday prayers in the mosques. The Islamic coalition, led by the Muslim Brotherhood whose elected president has been removed from office and placed under house arrest, have called on their supporters take to the streets after prayers and protest “peacefully” the military coup and the arrests.

The Egyptian military is urging the people to avoid revenge attacks following President Morsi’s ouster, and called for a reconciliation among the rival factions.

The Obama Administration is pressuring Egyptian officials not to jail the deposed president and his supporters, Reshet Bet reported. U.S. National Security Council officials stressed that the Egypt must have an elected government as soon as possible.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr spoke last night on the phone with his American colleague, Secretary of State John Kerry, and insisted that Egypt is not under a military coup. He told Kery the Army only fulfilled the will of the people, who are still the sovereign in Egypt.

On Thursday, a number of senior Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested and placed in Tora prison, the same prison holding former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. They were accused of giving orders to murder protesters using snipers. Eight Egyptians were shot outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo.

Adly Mansour, the newly appointed interim president of Egypt

Adly Mansour, the newly appointed interim president of Egypt

Adly Mansour, the judge who headed up Egypt’s Constitutional Court, was sworn in as the interim Egyptian president on Thursday, replacing the ousted Morsi who was overthrown by protesters and the Egyptian army.

The Egyptian main stock index rose over 7% following Egyptian president Morsi’s removal.

Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party is negotiating with the Army in an effort to reopen the religious television channels which have been taken off air following Morsi’s ouster on Wednesday, the Salafist party leader Younis Makhioun said on Thursday.

A handful of Islamist channels – including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Misr 25 and the Al-Hafez and Al-Nas TV channels – were abruptly taken off air on Wednesday, and their staff were arrested.

Those religious channels had sparked controversy in the past, according to Al Ahram, and were accused of using hate speech against Christians, Shia-Muslims and secular opposition figures.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/deadly-sinai-attack-follows-mb-arrests-and-interim-egpytian-presidential-appointment/2013/07/05/

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