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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Sinai’

Obama Let 40-Year-Old Oil Supply Guarantee to Israel Expire in November 2014

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Originally published at Liberty Unyielding

The Obama administration should give lessons in passive aggression.

Eying the impending Israeli election as a political influence operation wasn’t the only thing it was doing in November 2014. It was also letting a 40-year-old strategic guarantee to Israel expire.

The guarantee, which says the U.S. will ensure that Israel has access to oil in case of security emergencies, dates originally to September 1975, when Israel and Egypt were negotiating elements of an Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai after the 1973 War. Throughout those negotiations, which culminated in the 1979 peace treaty, the status of the Sinai oil fields was a core issue. Israel had obtained oil from them since occupying the Sinai after the 1967 War, when an Arab coalition attacked, and Israel seized territory to maintain a defensive perimeter.

The U.S. oil guarantee was instrumental in giving the Israelis a secure basis for withdrawing from the Sinai. The use of the oil fields was one aspect of that dynamic; another was Egypt’s closure of the Suez Canal from 1967 to June 1975. The Canal closure affected trade of all kinds, and specifically had the potential to disrupt Israel’s energy supplies – as effectively, by driving prices up, as they would be disrupted by an actual cut-off.

Because of this dual vulnerability, the U.S. guarantee looks not only at whether Israel is able to obtain oil, but how much it costs her to. The guarantee can kick in for either reason. (It entails ensuring that Israel can buy oil; it’s not a guarantee that the U.S. will supply oil for free.)

A Congressional Research Service study done early in 2014, before the most recent agreement expired, can be found here. It outlines the history of the guarantee. The agreement was formalized in 1979, with an initial period of 15 years, ending on 25 November 1994. It was extended twice after that, each time for 10 years, and most recently expired – without renewal – on 25 November 2014.

Interestingly, Reuters cited an unnamed State Department official on that date claiming that State was “working on” renewing the agreement. It never happened, however, and on 12 March, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mark Warner (D-VA) sent a letter to John Kerry requesting that he attend to the matter immediately.

It’s not clear what “work” would have to be done to renew this agreement. It is clear, on the other hand, that it’s an agreement that was made for important reasons, and that those reasons are not only still valid: they are more of a concern today than they were 10 years ago. Since the last renewal in November 2004, Israel has pulled out of Gaza; the Arab Spring has thrown the region into tremendous turmoil; the threat of terrorism and guerrilla action in the Sinai has increased; and Iran’s navy has extended its operations dramatically, into the Red Sea and even the Eastern Mediterranean. The potential threats to Israeli trade, and specifically to Israel’s energy imports, have increased significantly since 10 years ago.

Israel has huge reserves of natural gas, but remains dependent on foreign sources for oil. The U.S. guarantee has never had to be invoked, but keeping it in place is far from an academic exercise. The Globes report quotes an Israeli source:

Israel has never invoked the agreement, but Israel sources say that its importance lies in its very existence. An Israeli source compared the oil supply agreement to the loan guarantee agreement between the two countries that enables Israel to obtain commercial loans at low rates of interest. “Israel used the loan guarantee agreement very sparingly, but it is important that the loan guarantees agreement should exist, and the same applies to the energy agreement that guaranteed a regular supply of oil,” the source said, “We never used it, but it’s important that it should lie signed in a drawer.”

Iran Pre-Purim Stunt: Israel Trains ISIS Terrorists in Sinai

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Iran reported that an Iraqi legislator has declared that the Golani Brigade of the IDF is training commanders of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist army in the Sinai for “sabotage operations in Egypt.”

The Fars News Agency, one of the Islamic Republic’s propaganda tools, quoted Wahhab al-Tayee, a member of an Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite Muslim faction, that the ISIS is nearing “annihilation” in Iraq and Syria and “has been transferred to Egypt under the name of Daames (the Islamic State in Egypt and Sudan).”

The news agency’s website features a picture of Israeli soldiers with the caption “Zihadists.”

The Free Syrian Army’s website also disseminated the story.

What is the basis for the story?

Al-Tayee said, “The serial killings of Egyptian militaries in the Sinai vindicates the veracity of this claim” that the elite Golani officers are teaching the ISIS.

He added:

At present, the ISIL has deployed several brigades in the Sinai, whose commanders have been trained by the Zionist regime’s Golani Brigade and are now operating against Egypt.

Fars, which can be read as “Farce,” recalled that “Iranian Supreme Leader’s senior adviser Ali Akbar Velayati underlined that the ISIL had been created by the West and Israel to pursue their interests in the region.

“ISIL has actually been created by the western colonial powers and the Zionists because whatever this terrorist group does runs counter to Islam and the rules of all Islamic sects,” Velayati said n December.

And what is the real goal of the Israel? Once the ISIS destroys Muslim holy sites, then Israel has the justification to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

Why didn’t Jewish Temple Mount activists think of that all by themselves?

Gag Order Lifted on Naval Interception of Rocket Materials for Hamas [video]

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The Navy and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) intercepted a boat last January that was on its way to Gaza with materials for manufacturing rockets and mortar shells, according to military spokesmen after a gag order on the counter-terrorist operation was lifted on Wednesday.

The vessel was being used to smuggle liquid fiberglass for building weapons to be launched on Israel. The boat was sailing from off the Sinai Peninsula to a Gaza port. Israel has placed a maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza to prevent the smuggling of weapons and materials for weapons.

Security officials arrested three Arabs who confessed to planning to smuggle the liquid fiberglass for Hamas.

The three suspects were identified as Machmed Bechar, Ahmed Zaidi and Awad Zaidi.

​They gave investigators detailed information on previous weapon smuggling activities and told them how Hamas intended to utilize fisherman and smugglers for future smuggling attempts.

That explains why the Navy often fires on those supposedly innocent “fishing boats” that foreign media report were manned by poor Gaza Arabs who can’t make a decent living fishing because the big bad Israeli Navy thinks fishermen are enemies.

They are enemies because they are not fishermen. They are terrorists.

The gag order on the operation was lifted when the men were indicted in a Be’er Sheva court today for involvement in crimes endangering the security of the country.

“The IDF is determined to prevent unlawful attempts to ship weapons and raw materials that may jeopardize the well being of Israelis,” said Lt. Colonel Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesman. “This shipment highlights that when Hamas chose to smuggle materials for rockets and mortars, it chose not to invest in the rehabilitation for the people of Gaza.”​​

Egypt-Jordan Gas Pipeline Blown Up (Again)

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Egypt’s gas pipeline in the Sinai which delivers gas to Jordan (and used to deliver gas to Israel) was blown up again, for the 28th time.

It is believed that the pipeline in the Al-Arish area of northern Sinai was blown up by terrorists associated with one of the Islamic terrorist groups.

The terrorists planted the bombs underneath the pipe and blew it up from a distance.

Apparently due to the previous attacks, the pipeline was not in use, though it did have some gas stored in it.

Egypt has seen the number of terrorist bombings rise in the recent weeks.

On Monday a bomb was dismantled in an Alexandria post office.

Last week bombs blew up in Qaliubeya, Suez, Alexandria, Fayoum, Kafr El-Sheikh, and Cairo.

Attacks in the Sinai last week were claimed by a group calling themselves the “State of Sinai”.

Egypt Blows Up 3/4-Mile Smuggling Tunnel from Gaza

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Egyptian security forces blew up a 3/4-mile long smuggling tunnel reaching into the Northern Sinai from Gaza on Saturday, hours after terrorists bombed an Egyptian train.

The tunnel was similar to those that the IDF uncovered during the Protective Edge counter-terrorist campaign last summer, complete with electricity and telephone lines.

The tunnel opening in Gaza was underneath a smuggler’s house. The tunnels are used to smuggle weapons , food and money for terrorists.

Earlier on Saturday, terrorists derailed an Egyptian train with a bomb explosion. No one was injured.



2 Beheaded Men Found in Sinai

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Egyptian police announced that the found the bodies of 2 beheaded men in their 30s in northern Sinai. No other information is available at this point.

Egypt Beefs Up Security around Foreign Embassies

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Egypt has deployed heavy security around foreign embassies in Cairo because of increased fears of terrorist attacks, according to the Saudi daily Ukaz.

Authorities said that terrorists from the Sinai are planning to attack an embassy and that the Muslim Brotherhood is planning to strike several targets throughout Egypt to undermine the Al-Sisi regime.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypt-beefs-up-security-around-foreign-embassies/2015/01/01/

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