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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Sinai Peninsula’

Israeli Arab Teen, 15, Shot and Killed at Israeli-Egyptian Border [Updated]

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

An Israeli teen was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon near Mount Harif in the Negev Desert, along the border between Egypt and Israel, according to Israel’s Defense Ministry.

The victim, 15-year-old Namer Bassem Abu Amar, was a resident of the southern Israeli Bedouin town of Lakiya. The teenager was the son of a man working for a company that had won a Defense Ministry contracting bid to carry out civilian maintenance work on the security fence along Israel’s border with Egypt.

The fathehr was working on the security fence when the son was hit by gunfire from the Egyptian side of the border.

He was airlifted from the scene in an IDF helicopter and rushed to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, but he died of his wounds within minutes.

The source of the gunfire is not yet clear.

“The Defense Ministry shares the grief of the family,” said a ministry spokesperson. “The ministry has asked the company for more information about this employee, including details about how he was hired, given his age, and we will continue to review this incident.”

Egyptian military personnel have been battling terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula for years.

According to the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, there are eight to 14 different terrorist groups with a “marked presence in Sinai,” including the Sinai Province branch of Da’esh, or ISIS, also known as Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis.

There are also a number of Al Qaeda-linked extremist groups such as Tawhid Wal Jihad, Ansar al-Jihad and Ajnaf Bait al-Maqdis — all of which are also “linked to Palestinian extremist groups that fight Israel and consider the Egyptian army an enemy.”

The Muhammad Jamal Network, linked to Al Qaeda and also based in the Sinai Peninsula, was listed by the United States as a terrorist organization in October 2013. Jamal was arrested in 2012 but his followers carried on; the group is also known as the “Al-Jihad al-Islami” group.

Numerous other terrorist groups are also operating in the area, including the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hamas, the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Iranian proxy Hezbollah, and a number of Salafi Islamist groups such as the Army of Islam.

Update: The teenager was not a worker as originally thought, but the son of one of the workers. His father brought him to work that day.

Hana Levi Julian

Egypt’s Tunnel Destroying Officer Assassinated

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

The head of the Egyptian army’s Ninth Armored Division Major Adel Ragaai was assassinated on Saturday morning, the army media office told Daily News Egypt on Saturday. Based in Dahshur, Giza, on the west bank of the Nile, the Ninth Armored Division was assigned the mission of destroying tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip by filling them with water.

Major Ragaai was attacked by heavy shooting from anonymous militants in front of his residence in Al-Obour City near Cairo, according to army sources.

Ragaai’s wife, Samia Zein Al-Abdeen, a defense correspondent for the state-owned daily Al-Gomouria, told her newspaper she hurried outside when she heard a burst of gunfire from a private vehicle as it sped down their suburban street.

The group Lewaa Al-Thawra, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, is blamed for the attack. Ragaai’s death is the first political assassination of a military figure since the ousting of Mohamed Morsi from office in 2013.

Over the past three years, the Egyptian military has destroyed more than one thousand smuggling tunnels connecting the Gaza strip with the Sinai peninsula. The tunnels serve both for cross-border commerce and arms smuggling for Hamas.

According to The Medialine, Ragaai oversaw a massive operation to dig a canal parallel to the Rafah border, flooding the frontier with sea water which seeps into the tunnels, preventing their use. Hamas officials in the town of Rafah have complained that Gaza’s limited fresh water aquifer is being rendered undrinkable as a result.

David Israel

Israelis Ignore Warnings, Flock to Turkey for High Holiday Vacation

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Despite warnings by the counter-terrorism center against travel to dangerous Middle east destinations, Israelis this Rosh Hashanah are flocking to the clear blue waters of southern Turkey. Search indicators of the tourism website HotelsCombined show a 40% rise in searches from Israel for hotels in Turkey, again, despite specific warnings against going to Turkey this season. The demand is greatest for the coastal cities along Turkey’s southern Mediterranean shore: Antalya, Belek and Alanya, but demand for Istanbul vacations has also gone up by 30% compared with last year.

Israelis are taking warnings regarding Egyptian vacations more seriously, and while Israeli demand for Cairo hotels is up, requests for the Sharm Al Sheikh hotels at the southernmost tip of the Sinai peninsula have dropped by 22% compared with a year ago.

HotelsCombined CEO Eyal Segal says the sharp rise in Israeli demand for Turkish vacations is the result of an increase in the number of flights between Israel and Turkey, the thawing in the relationship between the two countries, and the reduced hotel prices in Turkey, just in time for the Jewish holidays.

“Israeli tourists by now have figured that every place is dangerous, which is why eco

nomic considerations overcome security concerns, and the average Israeli is not quick to panic about a flight to a country about which there have been warnings,” Segal said, noting that “regarding the Sinai, there we see a greater adherence to the warnings because tourists stand out and can be easily marked in the desert, as opposed to the big cities where they feel that the disappear in the crowd.”

JNi.Media

Netanyahu Representative in DC to Negotiate $38 Billion Aid Deal

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Brigadier General Yaakov Nagel, Israel’s acting National Security Council, arrived in Washington DC on Tuesday to meet with President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, in preparations for signing a new US military aid package. The new US aid deal, which the two governments have been negotiating since November 2015, awards Israel $38 billion over 10 years.

Nagel met with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro to work out the final details before leaving for Washington — including the text of the official announcements. The new aid package is expected to average $3.8 billion a year, a considerable cut from Netanyahu’s initial request for $4.5 billion. The deal is also contingent on Israel agreeing not to approach Congress for additional funds, as in the case of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which Congress has been paying for outside the annual aid package. Now an estimated $5 billion out of the package will be spent over 10 years on missile defense development.

In other words, the new aid package is only adding $300 million to the previous amount. To remind you, the sum of $3 billion annually was set during the Camp David peace negotiations with Egypt, as compensation to Israel for giving up the Sinai peninsula as a military asset. That amount has never been raised in close to 40 years, even though the current value of that annual package would have been $10.48 billion.

The critical disagreement between the two sides over the current deal has been whether or not Israel could continue to invest a percentage of the aid package in Israeli made military products. The Obama Administration wanted the entire amount to stay in US corporations, which would have been devastating to Israeli manufacturers and to the IDF. A short episode during the 2014 Gaza War, in which the Obama Administration stopped shipping to Israel all defense items, including Hellfire missiles, served as a memorable lesson to the Israeli security apparatus about the need to increase its self-reliance.

The new deal ended up adding six years in which Israel can continue to spend as much as 26% of the US aid money on Israeli made products, as well as another 13% for fuel purchases. By the seventh year, or halfway into Clinton’s or Trump’s second term, the Israeli military industrial complex would have to quit US aid cold turkey — Unless Netanyahu or his successor is able to renegotiate that part — depending on who is in the White House and who controls Congress at the time.

David Israel

Egyptian Soldier Shot Dead by Sniper in Rafah

Monday, September 5th, 2016

An Egyptian soldier was killed Sunday afternoon by snipers in an ambush attack near a military base at the entrance to the Egyptian part of the city of Rafah.

When Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1982, Rafah was split into a Gazan part and an Egyptian part, separated by barbed-wire barriers. The middle of the city was razed to create a large buffer zone.

Egyptian security sources said Sunday the attack killed a soldier named Mustafa Badr Hashim, 19, years of Assiut, from a gunshot wound. His body was flown to the military hospital in El-Arish.

Meanwhile, according to the Hamas government, the Egyptians have kept the Rafah border crossings open all day Sunday and will keep it open Monday, to allow passage from the Gaza Strip into Egypt and on to Saudi Arabia for the Muslim pilgrimage. So far a reported 1,243 have been allowed through, while 51 were rejected. Thousands more are expected to request passage should the Egyptian government decide to keep the crossing open.

David Israel

Iranian Arms Going to ISIS-Linked ‘Sinai Province’ Terror Group

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Iranian arms are appearing in the hands of the Sinai Province branch of the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization.

An image seen on Twitter over the weekend showed Islamic State terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula holding the Iranian-made AM-50 Sayyad rifle.

The rifles were “probably just intercepted or repurchased from arms smugglers sent by the Palestinian factions in Gaza,” said the Russian-language “bmpd” website that exposed the arms.

The same weapons have been seen in Syria and Iraq, where they were seized from government forces, and in Gaza. They’ve also been seen elsewhere in the Middle East.

ISIS-linked groups in Sinai also have seized Kornet anti-tank missiles and armored vehicles, specifically Egyptian M60A3 tanks, from the Egyptian army after clashes with its soldiers.

Hana Levi Julian

Egypt Kills Head of ISIS Affiliate in Northern Sinai

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Egypt has announced that its forces have taken out the commander of the Da’esh (ISIS) affiliate terrorist group in the Sinai Peninsula, Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis.

The Egyptian Air Force reportedly killed Abu Doa’a Al-Ansari Thursday in air strikes on the group in northern Sinai, near El Arish, according to a statement in Arabic posted on the Egyptian Army’s Facebook page.

Hundreds of the terrorists were killed by the army in a recent operation called ‘Martyrs’ Right,’ according to the Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram.

Thursday’s counter terror operation involved ground forces working in cooperation with the air force, and killed 45 members of the Sinai-based terror group in addition to Al-Ansari.

The group pledged allegiance last November to Da’esh and its leader, Abu Bakr el-Baghdadi.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypt-kills-head-of-isis-affiliate-in-northern-sinai/2016/08/05/

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