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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Sinai’

IDF, Egyptian Army and Hamas on High Alert at Borders

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The Israeli and Egyptian armies and the Hamas regime in Gaza are on high alert at Sinai and Gaza borders and near smuggling tunnels, according to eyewitnesses quoted by the Egyptian Independent.

Police stations, the airport at El Arish, the Kerem Shalom crossing, jails and entry points are under heavy security.

 

Israeli Children Returned to School, Hence the Rockets

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The terrorists who are building up men and material resources in the chaos of today’s Egyptian Sinai struck again this morning. Two GRAD rockets were fired into – and struck – the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Memo to those lacking historical, geographic or political background: Eilat is not and never has been claimed by Palestinian Arab terror apologists as “occupied territory”… other than by the many extremists who see all of Israel as the territory that is occupied. The readers of the Lebanese Al Manar news website for instance, are seeing a report at this moment headlined “Rockets Hit Occupied Town of Eilat“; Al Manar is a mouthpiece of Hezbollah. The semi-respectable Palestinian Maan News Agency has called Eilat occupied too, though never in the English language.

Times of Israel is reporting that one of the two missiles crashed into a residential neighborhood; the other in an open area on Eilat’s outskirts. Reuters says both hit open areas. Ynet says there were three rockets, and two landed in residential areas. Israel’s Army Radio, which is broadcast throughout the country, is quoted saying that a rocket “had also hit the nearby Jordanian city of Aqaba, but a spokesman for the Jordanian Civil Defense denied the suggestion.”

Fortunately, and this is a matter of divine intervention and human failure, no injuries are reported, at least  not so far. Damage is said to be light.

The IDF’s assessment, hardly surprising and certainly not for the first time, is that the attack on Eilat was made from the nearby Sinai Peninsula. The situation there is chaotic and dangerous, and growing steadily worse; we have written numerous times about Sinai’s spiral downwards into terrorist-driven anarchy [hereherehere and hereamong numerous other posts]. As a matter of consistent policy, the Egyptian authorities always respond to media inquiries with firm denials that rockets were fired from Egyptian territory; this morning they did the same again.

Israel’s security authorities saw today’s attack coming. An Iron Dome anti-missile defense battery has been stationed near Eilat for the past two weeks; there are ongoing intelligence assessments that warned of an act of terrorism like this morning’s. The system however was not utilized today, presumably because the Iron Dome controller knows to compute the expected damage in real time and to avoid firing if it is reasonable to do that.

The IDF created the Eilat Regional Brigade this past December to provide military protection, to the extent such a thing is doable against a jihadist enemy operating under the cover of a neighboring country’s government. The most recent rocket attack on Eilat’s civilian population (the only kind that it has) was an especially worrying one in August 2012; those which came before it are detailed in this Wikipedia entry.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Hamas PM on Official Visit to Egypt

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh left Gaza to Egypt on Saturday with a delegation of 21 senior Hamas members. Haniyeh is meeting with senior Egyptian security personnel.

The Hamas delegation are trying to improve relations with Egypt, which have been on a down-slide ever since the terror attacks began in the Sinai which many suspect are connected to Islamic groups in Gaza, as well as Egypt’s recent flooding and destruction of tens, and possibly even hundreds of Gazan smuggling tunnels.

Egypt also believes that Hamas was specifically involved in an attack that killed 16 Egyptian policemen last year in the Sinai (Rafah).

Al-Arabiyah claims that Haniyeh plans to talk about “Israeli violations of the truce” [between Israel and Gaza].

Egypt Cuts off Hamas, Postponing Next Gaza War

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Something both positive and revealing has happened and while it undermines one prediction of mine it reinforces another. I’m delighted to see it.

I predicted that since Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is a radical, Islamist group that wants to wipe Israel off the map and the ruling Hamas group in the Gaza Strip is part of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as also being a radical Islamist group and wants to wipe Israel off the map that the Egyptian regime would cooperate with Hamas in fomenting terrorism against Israel by facilitating the flow of arms, money and terrorists to the Gaza Strip. for that purpose.

In fact, though, it has now become clear that the Brotherhood regime is stopping weapons and other things from entering the Gaza Strip. (As did its predecessor, the Mubarak regime.)

But why, given that my above-explained chain of reasoning is true, is this happening?

The answer lies in another point I’ve made: That many revolutionary Islamists are over-confident partly in the face of a weak United States; partly due to their ideology that puts the deity, literally, on their side, and partly because of the big gains they are making throughout the region and even the world.

These groups also bicker and even fight among themselves, most notably but not exclusively due to Sunni-Shia conflicts. So radical Islamist groups overreach and thus suffer self-inflicted defeats.

This is what’s happening with Hamas. The Muslim Brotherhood’s reasons are is not benign. It seeks to consolidate control over a highly populated country and fundamentally transform it into a Sharia state under the Brotherhood’s perpetual rule. Hamas, however, by its nature, cannot accept Islamism in one country (to paraphrase Stalin – see my note below). Hamas isn’t interested in building up a Sharia state in the Gaza Strip as its main goal because it seeks to conquer all of Israel.

The reason, then, why the Brotherhood is stopping more aid or encouragement to Hamas is that the Egyptian regime doesn’t want a war or even a high level of conflict now. A second reason is simply that Hamas has become entangled with smaller radical Islamist groups that are waging armed struggle against Egypt, seek to overthrow the Egyptian government, and stage (without Egyptian permission) attacks against Israel across the Egypt-Israel border.

Here’s the key statement from Issam al-Haddad, a senior Brotherhood official and a presidential advisor on foreign policy, that the flow of weapons to Hamas (and then back into the Sinai terrorists) will undermine stability in the Sinai Peninsula.

Another factor cited is the need to fulfill Egypt’s obligation under the ceasefire agreement it helped broker between Israel and Hamas. U.S. pressure to keep this pledge was an incentive. This is to the credit of the Obama Administration. Yet one wonders how cooperative the regime would be if Hamas had not antagonized it by doing more to stabilize Egypt than it did Israel. I’m not saying Hamas did this on purpose but merely that the small, even more radical groups it uses as fronts to strike against Israel also do other things. And one further wonders what would happen if Hamas clamped down on its junior partners and protected Egypt from Gaza-based destabilization.

Whatever the balance of reasons, this greatly reduces the threat to Israel from Hamas for the coming months or even years. At the same time, the Syrian civil war and the growing hatred by the rebels against Hizbollah, which supports the dictatorship, is also undermining Israel’s main enemy to the north. With Iran still not having nuclear weapons that means Israel’s security situation is in excellent shape.

Another factor cited is U.S. pressure. Presumably this is in connection with the ceasefire agreement in which Egypt promised to shut down the arms’ flow. This is to the credit of the Obama Administration. (Of course, the Brotherhood is compliant because that helps it gobble up Egypt faster and easier, not to mention with Westerns financial subsidies).

But one must also note that things could change in future, especially with the Brotherhood confident once it has Egypt, the Gaza Strip, and Syria. Remember that the nationalist regime went through a parallel cycle. Gamal Abdel Nasser’s movement seized control over Egypt in 1952 and took 15 years to get around to seeking confrontation with Israel, though within four years such a confrontation seemed possible.

In Sinai, Egyptian Police on Strike

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Israel’s border with Egypt [Project Sand Timer] is long (266 kilometers), and has enormous strategic importance given what happens on the far side. Though demarcated by a new steel fence, it constitutes a major headache for those charged with keeping Israel safe and secure.

The part-constructed fence already secures part of the border, but (a) it will be months before it is completed; (b) there is already at least one tunnel that brings ‘smugglers’ under it (see this Arab news report from yesterday); and (c) fences are of modest value against attacks by rocket-equipped terrorists.

We have written numerous times about the growing lawlessness of Egyptian Sinai and the danger of having the terrorists essentially in control is a huge one.

Now the Egyptian police, who do whatever it is they do down there, are on strike.

Egyptian police protest in Sinai, Cairo demanding weapons  | Ahram Online , Tuesday 5 Mar 2013

Dozens of police officers across different directorates in Sinai are on strike for the second day in a row. This includes officers in the directorates of Tour Sinai, Ras Sidr, Taba and Saint Catherine. Security personnel are protesting against what they describe as “inhumane and degrading” working conditions. They also demand that low-ranking officers and employees be armed so that they can defend themselves from the recurring dangers they are exposed to while on duty. The officers claim that their lives are in danger as ministry leaders refuse to allow them access to weapons, urging them to maintain self-restraint. They also demand to be awarded excellence bonuses on a regular basis. The officers said that they would be suspending work until their demands are fulfilled. In Cairo, dozens of police officers from the Old Cairo Police Directorate blocked off Salah Salem Street, a major thoroughfare leading to Cairo International Airport, early on Tuesday, bringing traffic flow to a complete halt. The officers were angry at the death of a fellow officer who died in the line of duty as he attempted to stop a bank robbery. They are demanding more access to live ammunition to defend themselves. Security forces managed to coax protesting officers into reopening the road to traffic.

This is not likely to produce a good result.

Visit This Ongoing War.

The Bravery of the UN Peacekeepers Tested Again

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

That’s right…once again the Middle East is testing the bravery of the United Nations peacekeepers, and once again, they are failing that test.

The United Nations Emergency Force was created in 1956 as part of a resolution agreement to the Suez Canal Crisis – that was when Egypt launched a terrorist “fedayeen” campaign against Israel and committed other acts of aggression with the declared goal of eventually destroying her. Israel responded and in the end, Egypt lost the Sinai Peninsula. The ceasefire agreement, yet another example of Israel doing above and beyond what most countries would do, included Israel withdrawing from the Sinai. They gave the Egyptians back what Egypt had lost in war because they hoped it would serve as a lesson. The lesson didn’t even last a decade. But back in 1956, a hopeful world agreed to established an international force that would be placed on the Egyptian side to prevent further violence.

In May 1967, as part of their intention to launch another war against Israel, the Egyptian government under President Nasser ordered the UN out of the way…and they agreed to leave immediately. Whatever the purpose was for them having been stationed there, the reality was that they ran at the first threat to themselves. In the end, they proved to be more vacationing tourists than peacekeepers.

Likewise, not long after the Yom Kippur War, in which both Syria and Egypt attacked Israel, in 1974, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force was established as a buffer between Israel and Syria. As in Sinai, their goal was to stand between the nations to preserve the peace.

Given the unease in Syria and rising tensions on the border with Israel after numerous instances in which Syria has fired mortars and bullets across the Israeli border, it seems the UN is worried about its troops. Today’s news indicates that Japan is pulling its troops out of the UN Observer force in the Golan Heights. No, it isn’t the entire force, not yet anyway, and yet it makes me wonder. If they are going to pull out at the first hint of trouble, what are they there for? What good do they do? Honestly, who needs them?

I know they watch over Israeli forces on the Golan. Elie told me how they used to come visit the bases in the Golan Heights. I can’t honestly believe they were as diligent on the Syrian side, but it doesn’t matter. The fact is that there really is no difference whether they are there or not. That is what today’s news reaffirms. Syria is a country that will plow over its own people, use chemical weapons on them, murder their own children in the streets. Is anyone fool enough to believe a bunch of unarmed UN troops would stop them?

In fact, there is ample evidence that more than once UN troops have collaborated with the Arabs (in Lebanon, in Gaza), so truly, Israel is probably better off without them.

So, why this post? Because the hypocrisy, the cowardice, and the incredible nerve of the UN to preach to Israel, sometimes rises up to choke me.

And then, at these moments, I read that it is snowing on Mount Hermon and I look out my office window and watch the rain in Jerusalem. Protection comes from Above – blessings of rain and snow. I wish the Japanese peacekeepers a safe trip home. They are a symptom of the impotence of the United Nations, nothing more.

You can’t keep peace in a nation that wants death and violence. Their leaving simply reminds us of who they are, and who we are. There is no fear in their leaving because there was no protection, ever, in their presence. It was known they would pull out at the first sign of trouble – it is their way, it is their cowardice, it is their shame.

Today, as yesterday and tomorrow – we are protected by the soldiers of the army of Israel. And we know that they and all our sons, are protected by the Guardian of Israel, who sent us the blessings of rain on a day that shines bright, right through the thickest of clouds, in this holy land.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Explosion Destroys Egyptian Intelligence Building

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Al Arabiya reports that a large explosion destroyed part of an Egyptian intelligence building.

The building is located in Rafah, near the Gaza border, in Egyptian controlled Sinai.

There’s no additional information available yet.

Egyptians Confirm Missiles Were Fired from the Sinai into Israel

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Egyptian military sources confirmed on Wednesday that missiles were launched from the northern Sinai town of Rafah at the Israeli kibbutz Kerem Shalom, Egypt Independent reported.

Israel and Egypt will be forming a joint military committee at Israel’s request to examine the circumstances surrounding the missile launch, the sources said.

Israel’s Channel 10 reported that four missiles fired from Rafah struck southern Israel in an area near the Gaza Strip‫.

Three of them landed in an open area, while the fourth hit Kerem Shalom in the Eshkol region but did not cause any injuries or damage, Channel 10 reported.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptians-confirms-missiles-were-fired-from-the-sinai-into-israel/2012/11/14/

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