Egypt to Attack Gaza?

An item published today by JNS.org claims the Egyptian media reported on Sunday that the army has been given a green light to strike Gaza.

The report says the Egyptian government’s legal adviser sanctioned the legitimacy of an attack in Gaza following a Supreme Court decision on Saturday to label Hamas a terrorist group.  Senior Egyptian officials believe the likelihood of an Egyptian military attack in Gaza is slim, and that the court decision was likely made as a deterrent measure and to hint that the military option is on the table in light of Hamas involvement in terrorist attacks in Egypt, which are numerous.

There is only the one source reporting this, so time will tell if it’s accurate or not. It would not surprise me in the slightest if it were true.  The Gazans are a constant source of trouble to Egypt with terrorist attacks in the Sinai Desert.

The Henry Jackson Society issued a report “Terror in the Sinai”

Shaded relief map of the Sinai Peninsula, 1992 (produced by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
The Sinai is a triangular peninsula of 60,000 square kilometres around three times the size of Israel that bridges North Africa and the Levant.
To its east is Israel, the Gaza Strip, and the Gulf of Aqaba; to its west is the Suez Canal and Gulf of Suez; to its north is the Mediterranean; and, to its south, the Red Sea.
The Sinai is divided into two of Egypt’s governorates – North and South Sinai  with district capitals in el-Arish and el-Tor, respectively.
Due to few opportunities for legitimate employment, trade has flourished in narcotics; weapons; and the
trafficking of goods and people in and out of the Sinai.
Israel’s 2005 pull-out from the Gaza Strip increased the flow of people and ideas with the peninsula, and, two years later, Hamas’ seizure of the Strip provided more opportunities for illegal activity.
There is security vacuum in the Sinai which has allowed Salafi-jihadist groups to operate in the peninsula.
Inrecent months, jihadist leaders have issued fatwas adding to the repeated calls by AQ’s emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri, for “jihad” as a means of securing sharia law in Egypt.
Salafi-jihadist groups have launched weekly – in some cases, daily – attacks against police and security forces,
and occasionally against Israeli and foreign targets.

A tribal sheikh told local journalist Mohannad Sabry that he believes no fewer than 1,000 al-Qaeda fighters to be operating in the peninsula, the majority of them having come from abroad.

Is it any wonder Egypt might want to attack Gaza?
Der Spiegel “Laboratory of Violence: Egypt Struggles for Control of Sinai
“The Sinai is a laboratory of violence, a test zone. This is where the military must prove it can establish law and order, now that it has eliminated the democratically elected Islamist government of former President Mohammed Morsi.
The generals must demonstrate they can save the country — and soon, or else the majority of Egyptians will lose the last vestige of confidence in the military, and so will Egypt’s allies.”
“On Monday, a car bomb exploded in front of the police headquarters building in the center of el-Tor, the capital of the South Sinai Governorate. Egyptian media reported that shrapnel ripped open the front of the building across four floors. Four police officers were killed and 48 people were injured. “
“On the same day, gunmen attacked an army patrol in Sinai, near the Suez Canal. Thursday, only three days later, a suicide bomber drove his car into a checkpoint outside al-Arish, killing three soldiers and a police officer. Earlier, six people were killed in an attack on Egyptian intelligence headquarters in Rafah.”
A vehicle burns after a firefight between Egyptian security forces and suspected militants at the al-Goura settlement in Egypt’s north Sinai region, about 15 km (10 miles) from the border with Israel, Aug. 12, 2012. (photo by REUTERS)
“Last month in Cairo, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim narrowly escaped being killed by a car bomb. The attack was most likely the work of the Islamist militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which is present everywhere in Egypt but has its headquarters on the Sinai Peninsula.”
On February 3rd this year the Washington Post reported :
Explosion, gunfire along Egypt-Gaza border; man dies in Alexandria bombing“Egyptian troops fired warning shots over the Sinai frontier into Gaza on Tuesday after a bomb exploded on Gaza territory near an Egyptian army convoy. Egyptian security sources blamed the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which immediately denied the charge.Meanwhile in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, a man was killed in a bomb blast hours after two devices were discovered at Cairo’s airport and another went off in the center of the capital without casualties, other security sources said.The bombs in Alexandria and Cairo are part of a recent spike in small bombs being planted around Egypt. Many of the devices have been flash-bang grenades, designed to sow panic but cause minimal damage or casualties.

Larger and deadlier bombs have been targeted almost exclusively at members of the Egyptian police and army. Officials who spoke with the Associated Press said the bomb in Alexandria was aimed at a police patrol driving in the beachfront town of Agamy, on the western outskirts of the city. The bomb went off, apparently detonated remotely, as the vehicles moved — injuring a street peddler, his son and a bystander. The bystander later died of his wounds, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.”

It isn’t surprising then that Egypt considered a Gaza wall to block Hamas terror attacks. This had been talked about in the past, but they decided that the lawlessness caused by the Gazan terror gropus, smuggling, gun running, murder and more was enough.

If Israel had done what they did, the world would be up in arms. Egypt expelled Gazans, destroyed homes & the World was silent.

In the buffer zone plan, Egypt  seized and evacuated all homes and farmland up to 500 meters (over 1,640 feet) into Gaza, all along the 13 kilometer (over eight mile) border. Additionally, a channel with a depth and width of 20 meters (over 65 feet) was be dug along the Gaza border.

Forces  cleared the area of vegetation and structures, as well as removing thousands of Bedouins living in the area.

According to Egyptian newspaper, Al Yom a-Sab’a, security forces will work to dismantle underground tunnels connecting Gaza to Sinai. Any building or structure that could be used to conceal smuggling activity will be demolished.

As part of the new plan, Egypt will also step up patrols along the Mediterranean coast, particularly in the area surrounding El-Arish and extending to the Gaza border town of Rafah, in order to prevent arms smuggling.

It was also reported that Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi plans to expand the jurisdiction of military courts in the area, so they can try civilians accused of damaging roadblocks and other public property.

Read this I wrote last month

Oh the Hypocrisy. Egypt Expels Gazans While the World is Silent.

It’s hardly surprising that the report that Egypt plans to Attack Gaza was publicised.

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