Obama fallout for abandoning our 30-year ally, Egypt. Long, hard-fought peace agreements are unraveling as we speak.
Report: Sinai emerging as staging ground for terror attacks on Israel, Egypt Special to WorldTribune.com
WASHINGTON — The Hamas regime has been using Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula as a weapons stockpile, a report said.
The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs determined that the Islamist regime in the Gaza Strip was operating in Sinai.
In a report by retired senior U.S. officers, the institute said Sinai has also become a haven for insurgents for attacks on Israel.
“The Sinai has become an arena for the stockpiling of weapons bound for Hamas, and a staging ground for their eventual smuggling into Gaza,” the report, titled “The 2013 JINSA Generals and Admirals Trip to Israel and Jordan,” said. “It is also becoming a relative safe haven for other terrorist groups to launch attacks against Israel and Egyptian security forces.”
The report, which reflected a tour in October 2013, said Sinai has
become an area of operations for Hamas and Al Qaida-aligned groups. The
ex-officers, who included former U.S. Army generals, said Israel has
supported an Egyptian counter-insurgency campaign that appeared to be “achieving a degree of success, especially regarding the closing of smuggling tunnels into Gaza.”
“Preventing terrorism emanating from the Sinai has become easier now
that Israel’s border security fence is complete,” the report, based on
briefings by the military and intelligence community, said. “The loss of
smuggling income, however, has compelled some Bedouin groups to cooperate
with Sinai-based terrorist organizations, including Hamas.”
Still, Egypt was said to be concerned that Sinai insurgents would
relocate to the Suez Canal, the main transit route for U.S. military ships
to the Gulf and Afghanistan. The report warned that the massive Islamist
unrest in wake of the coup of President Mohammed Morsi has harmed Egypt’s
military and security forces, particularly in protecting the borders with
Libya and Sudan.
“Chaos in every sector of Egyptian society has led to a dramatic drop in
the efficacy of its security forces, and the Egyptian military’s vast
holdings of main battle tanks and capable fighter aircraft are of precious
little use in patrolling the 1,600 kilometers of open borders with both
Libya and Sudan,” the report said.
The report warned that insurgents in the Gaza Strip and Sinai have been
bolstered by surface-to-air missiles. One scenario raised by
the ex-officers was that Israel would preempt an attack from Sinai and clash
with the Egyptian Army. In 2011, three Egyptian soldiers were killed by an
Israel Air Force helicopter that fired missiles toward suspected insurgents.
“Israeli preemption of an impending terrorist threat or a military
response to a terrorist attack originating in the Sinai could place pressure
on the Egyptian government to resist Israeli military actions,” the report
said. “This is in fact the goal of Al Qaida and other Sinai-based groups —
a plan referred to by Israel as ‘strategic terrorism.’ ”
Still, the report asserted that Egypt and Israel has improved border
security coordination since the ouster of Morsi in July 2013. At the same
time, Israel has repeatedly agreed to Egypt’s request to deploy additional
troops in Sinai and so violate the demilitarization clause of the 1979 peace
“Lines of communication between the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] and the
Egyptian Army and Egyptian General Intelligence Service are considered to be
good at present,” the report said.