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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Sinai Peninsula’

Gaza Jihadist: Israel Killed Arafat for not Signing Agreement

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Here is the latest jihadist history lesson: Israel killed Yasser Arafat because he refused to sign an agreement at Camp David in 2000.

Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi, speaking during a rally in Gaza City, claimed that Arafat was put under siege after returning from the summit, before being poisoned for his unyielding position, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported Sunday.

Then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak had offered Arafat to create a Palestinian Authority state with approximately 97 percent of its territorial claims. Arafat refused and resume the Intifada, popularly known as the Second Intifada, and also called the Oslo War.

Arafat died in 2004. The Palestinian Authority still claims he was poisoned by Israel. If the Islamic Jihadist theory is correct, it took Israel four years to poison Arafat, who despite being under “siege” men aged to manage a terrorist campaign that killed hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The need for the Islamic Jihad to try to invent history shows how desperate it is to survive. Egypt has carried out an aggressive offensive to wipe out Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist gangs operating in the Sinai and in Rafiah, which straddles the Egyptian-Gaza border.

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.

Armed Terrorists Kill 24 Egyptian Police in Sinai

Monday, August 19th, 2013

A terrorists’ ambush in the northern Sinai killed 24 Egyptian police who drove by in two vehicles, Kol Israel reported. The attack took place in a village near Rafah. 3 police were injured.

The Curse of Sinai

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

The Sinai Peninsula is a huge area, approximately 61,000 square kilometers, which is almost three times the area of the State of Israel, and its population is approximately 550,000, less than one tenth of the population of Israel. The residents of Sinai, despite  being Egyptian citizens for the most part, are not of Egyptian origin: their Arabic dialect is Saudi Arabian, their culture is different from Egyptian culture and they identify with the state of Egypt about as much as the Bedouins in the Negev identify with the state of Israel. Why is this so? The reason is that the Bedouin will never identify with a state, since the state symbolizes order and the rule of law, whereas the desert is spontaneous and the law that rules within it is the law of the tribes. Only when the Bedouin is part of the governmental system and enjoys its benefits does he identify with the state, for example in Jordan, and even there it is not always guaranteed.

The Sinai Peninsula was never an integral part of Egypt; it was annexed only in the beginning of the twentieth century, when Britain – which ruled Egypt at the time – wanted to keep some distance between the Ottoman Empire and the Suez Canal. The Egyptian state never tried to impose Egyptian law and order upon Sinai and this is easy to prove: There are few roads in Sinai and between those roads are great expanses that are inaccessible to the branches of government: police, health services, educational services and infrastructure. Even the Egyptian army viewed Sinai only as a training area and an arena for battle with Israel, and in general, it can be said that Sinai has always been an unwanted burden to Egypt, a step-son who was not expected to amount to much.

After Israel conquered Sinai in the Six Day War (in June of 1967) the Sinai Bedouins came to an agreement with the IDF: if Israel would allow the Bedouins to have autonomy and live life as they pleased, they would not object to Israeli rule over the area. Israel ignored the poppy plantations that were cultivated in Sinai, which supplied a significant part of world opium consumption, and the Bedouins ignored the Israeli tourists on the Red Sea beaches who did not behave according to the acceptable rules of Bedouin modesty. The many tourist villages that were in Taba, in in Nawiba, in di-Zahab and in Ofira (Sharm e-Sheikh) at that time, provided a good livelihood to the Bedouins. The proximity of IDF bases also brought economic benefit to the Bedouins . The good relations between the Bedouins and Israel was based on the fact that Israel had no intentions of trying to turn the Bedouins into Israelis culturally, and that Israel let them live their lives according to the principles and laws that they have lived by from time immemorial.

An important detail to note is that the border between Israel and Egypt was a line on the map, not a physical fence or wall, and this enabled the Sinai Bedouins, together with their family members who lived in the Negev, to support themselves by smuggling goods, drugs, women and illegal immigrants seeking work into Israel. The Israeli authorities knew about this smuggling industry, but for years did very little in order to stop it, because it served the economic interest of both sides and because of the desire to maintain good relations with the Sinai Bedouins, who brought intelligence information to Israel and not just goods.

When Israel withdrew from Sinai in 1982, sovereignty over the peninsula was restored to Egypt but the Egyptian state did not return to the open areas or to the high mountains of the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian government limited itself to the scattered cities that were located on the shores: on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea – Rafiah, el-Arish, Sheikh Zayed, on the coast of the Red Sea – Taba, Dahab, Nawab, Sharm-e-Sheikh, and the coast of the Suez Bay — e-Tur, Ras Sudar, Abu Rudis, Port Fuad. In an attempt to deal with the problem of unemployment in Egypt, beginning in the days of Mubarak, the Egyptian government urged many youths to go to Sinai in order to work in the oil industry, the quarries and the tourism industry. The Egyptian government initiated agricultural projects in Sinai that depended on water brought from the Nile, and the entry of thousands of Egyptians into Sinai was perceived by the Bedouins as an attempt to overwhelm them, push them out of the area and deprive them of their livelihood. This is how the tension between the state of Egypt and the Bedouin population began in Sinai after the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula.

Iron Dome Intercepted Rocket Fired at Eilat

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

The Iron Dome system last night intercepted a rocket that was shot from the Sinai at the city of Eilat. This was the first interception of a rocket in the southernmost town in Israel. No one was hurt and there was no damage to property, kol Israel reported.

Residents reported hearing the sound of two explosions, but army and police searches did not found any signs of a hit.

Over the past few weeks, there has been an increasing concern in Israel about the operation being conducted by units of the Egyptian army against elements of al-Qaeda and the Jihadists in the peninsula. In addition to setting up the Iron Dome, IDF readiness along the border has been enhanced and observation points were laid down along the border.

Last Thursday, the IDF ordered closing down the Eilat airspace for two hours for security reasons, and the following day 4 terrorists were killed from the air, an attack the Egyptians said was carried out by an Israeli drone.

MDA treated two people for anxiety attacks as a result of the explosion.

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.

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.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/navy-arrested-major-weapons-smuggling-operation-on-high-seas/2013/07/16/

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