The militants attacked road blocks near the city of Rafah which is the site of a check-point between Egypt and Palestinian Gaza Strip in the vicinity of the Israeli border. One man was killed during the skirmish.
This is the second attack against a road block in this area. The first one was on the night of the 6th of August when a group of men armed with submachine-guns and grenade-launchers killed 16 Egyptian servicemen. But the militants’ breakthrough to Israel in two captured armoured vehicles was interrupted by the Israeli Air Force. Seven militants were killed and the rest escaped to the Egyptian territory. Experts believed that the Israeli reconnaissance department had information about the forthcoming breakthrough, which they took advantage of.
Cairo linked the first attack against the road block with Palestinian and Sinai militants. Israel called the incident ‘an alarm signal’ for Cairo. A new alarm signal sounded on Wednesday. In reply, Egypt used missiles on Sinai for the first time since the war of 1973.
Obviously, one of the aims of this chain of terrorist acts is to provoke a serious crisis between Egypt and Israel. Demands of deploying the army on Sinai started immediately after the first terrorist act in Egypt but this runs counter to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1979. According to the Camp David agreements, the Sinai Peninsula should remain a demilitarized area. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups consider this item of the agreement an attempt at Egypt’s sovereignty.
Thus, new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has fallen into the ‘Sinai trap’. If he meets the ‘hawks’ demands, Egypt’s relations both with Israel and the US which is the guarantor of the Camp David deal will be endangered. Israel and the US have also promised Egypt financial aid totalling $1.3bln.
By their new attack against Egyptian servicemen, Islamist militants expressed their opinion once again and let the world know that they were not willing to change their minds. This is the opinion of Alexander Filonik, the head of the Centre for Arab Research of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“Today they are trying to attract the new Egyptian regime’s and the new president’s attention to the problem of relations with Israel. Probably they hoped to make the new authorities initiate revision of the Camp David deal. In my opinion, this coincides with the position of radical Islamists who want to expand their influence in Egypt from internal to foreign affairs as well and to manipulate with the new president’s position on this issue.”
Announcer: Obviously, Mohamed Morsi’s former strong union with Islamist terrorists has given a crack. This crack is growing and is likely to cause aggravation of the security situation in the region. In that case the new president would have to go to the army cap in hand once again.