As Egypt continues its major counterterrorism offensive which has already claimed at least 20 lives, reports from Cairo signal that some of the terrorists that took part in this week’s attack against a Sinai border police base that left 16 Egyptian soldiers dead came from Gaza.
The Islam Army, based in Gaza and aligned with al-Qaeda was involved in the attack, Egyptian security officials reported on Wednesday morning 20 Menachem Av 5772. According to the el-Hayat newspaper published in London, some of the terrorists responsible for that attack were from the Islam Army, the same terrorists responsible for the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Egyptian presidential spokesman Dr. Yasser Ali released a statement that at present, they do not have the exact identities of the terrorists but they have established the Gaza connection. Ali promised additional information in the coming days as the investigation progresses.
In Gaza, Hamas has released statements condemning the attack and supporting the ongoing Egyptian military offensive against Sinai terrorists. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh released a statement blaming Israel for the attack, pointing a finger at the Mossad Intelligence agency.
Israeli intelligence and security officials are observing the events in Egypt with great interest and growing concerns as their predictions that Sinai would become a launching pad for terrorism have been actualized. They are now seeking to see just how effective newly elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi will be, and if he will maintain control over Sinai as was the case with his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
Former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who maintained very close ties with Mubarak, released a statement on Wednesday, that Morsi understands he must take control of Sinai for if not, “he is sitting on a ticking time bomb”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)