MIDEAST MIRROR 02.07.15, SECTION A (ISRAEL)
Trouble in Sinai
Israeli newspapers lead their Thursday editions with events in the Sinai on Wednesday, where dozens of Egyptian soldiers were killed in a series of coordinated attacks by Salafi terrorist organizations. The main thrust of the Israeli coverage, beyond reporting on what happened and what is, apparently, still happening, focuses on when and if the ISIS-affiliated terrorists will attempt to cross the border into Israel's Negev.
According to Army Radio, the Israel Defense Forces beefed up their presence along the border with the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday and remain on highest alert along the southern border monitoring the fighting using UAVs. Security sources say that while the current tensions are an internal Egyptian affair, the IDF is prepared for any development, including a spreading of violence into Israel. Military sources say the army must be prepared for any scenario, including an infiltration, abduction or strike on aircraft. The Kerem Shalom border crossing, which was temporarily closed yesterday due to the heavy fighting, was reopened on Thursday morning.
According to Haaretz's Zvi Bar'el, an Egyptian source familiar with the country's decision-making process told Haaretz that if Islamic State comes near Gaza, President Abdelfattah al-Sissi may 'invite' the IDF to act against it. This will not be seen as an Israeli breach of Egypt’s sovereignty, because Gaza falls under Israel’s responsibility. 'The two armies may already be coordinating in preparation for such a possibility,' the source said. 'The Egyptian problem is that a military campaign inside Gaza could lead to breaking down the fences and a mass flight of civilians from Gaza to Sinai.' Haaretz also reports that Israelis security officials have accused Hamas of aiding and abetting the Sinai terror organizations.
Back in Israel, the papers report on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to one of the people injured in a spate of recent terror attacks across the northern West Bank. Netanyahu said that terrorists and their dispatchers will continue to pay a heavy price and that security forces will track down the murderers responsible for the recent attacks in which Malachi Rosenfeld and Danny Gonen were killed.
Meanwhile, it was revealed yesterday that the Shin Bet has, with the help of the IDF and Israeli Police, uncovered over the last few months a large Hamas cell active in the city of Nablus and surrounding towns. According to details cleared for publication, some 40 alleged cell members, including senior Hamas members, were detained. The network sought to renew Hamas activities in the Samaria area, and had smuggled gold and jewelry from Jordan to sell in order to finance its operations. The cell members were in direct contact with Hussam Badran, a Hamas spokesman based in Qatar.
Finally, in other news, Netanyahu was at an Independence Day reception at the home of the U.S. Ambassador on Wednesday night, where he declared that Israel has no better friend than America, and America has no better friend than Israel. In an obvious effort to put years of antagonism between his government and the White House behind him, Netanyahu expressed explicit appreciation of U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. Congress and the people of America for their continual support of the state of Israel.
GETTING CLOSER: Writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, Alex Fishman warns that, unless Egypt manages to drive a wedge between Hamas' armed wing in the Gaza Strip and the Salafi organizations in the Sinai, the problem will sooner or later reach Israel's borders.
"In less than an hour from the moment that the Sinai branch of ISIS launched its offensive against the Egyptian army in the Sinai yesterday, the IDF's Southern Command went on high alert. There was a sense of déjà vu. Memories of the terror attack in August 2012 are still very fresh among officers stationed in Israel's south.
The reports that were coming out of the Sinai – almost in real time – said that members of ISIS had captured heavy military hardware including at least one tank. Three years ago, too, the incident also began when Salafi terrorists butchered 16 Egyptian police officers and took two military vehicles. They broke through the border and moved several kilometers into Israeli territory; only by some miracle were they halted before managing to carry out a mass-casualty attack inside Israel.
The same Salafist terrorists were behind yesterday's attacks; most of them are Egyptian residents of the Sinai. In 2012, they operated under the auspices of the global jihad movement and under the name Ansar Bait al-Maqdis; this time, they have switched ownership, so to speak, and are part of the ISIS' Sinai branch.
Not only are the aggressors the same aggressors as last time, the timing of the attacks was also similar: close to the 17th day of Ramadan, which is the anniversary of the Battle of Badr – one of the most famous battles in Islamic history. As far as the Salafi organizations are concerned, this is the perfect time for such attacks against Islamic enemies. In fact, it's almost a religious edict. The Egyptian army, therefore, should not have been taken by surprise – especially since yesterday's attack also fell close to the anniversary of the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo.
The fact that the Salafi terrorists are now part of ISIS makes the potential threat they pose – a threat that is located just over Israel's southern border – far more dramatic. Even the videos that these terrorists are filming and posting online have changed: six months ago, they showed local Bedouin tribesmen carrying Kalashnikov rifles; now, these same terrorists are wearing uniforms with ranks, flak jackets and advanced military equipment.
The Sinai-based terrorists are now a highly organized and well-equipped army with advanced weaponry. Yesterday, they attacked six Egyptian military outposts within a 25 square kilometer area, including the main military camp in Sheikh Zuweid. The operation was meticulously planned and executed and followed patterns that ISIS has already used in Iraq and Syria. At around noon, the organization distributed flyers in el-Arish, calling on the local population to leave the area ahead of a takeover of the town. Indeed, the battle for the road between Sheikh Zuweid and el-Arish is far from over and the Egyptian army is now preparing to defend its strategically important positions in Sheikh Zuweid, el-Arish and Rafah – which are the main areas of fighting.
In the first wave of yesterday's attack, some 70 to 100 Salafi terrorists were involved. Some of them were equipped with antitank missiles. Just two weeks ago, they used a Kornet missile for the first time against an Egyptian tank and yesterday dozens of such missiles were used. Behind the story of these antitank missiles is one of the main oxygen supplies to the Sinai-based Salafi terrorists: the armed wing of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The person responsible for training them in the use of these missiles is none other than Abdullah Kishta, Hamas' missile expert in the Gaza Strip.
This is not the only military link between Hamas and the Sinai Salafis: some of the funding for the Salafi organizations comes from Hamas' already depleted coffers. Hamas, however, keeps this a closely guarded secret, since it knows that if the hungry people of Gaza were to discover that their government is sending money to Sinai, there would be outrage. Hamas also wants to avoid angering Iran, which is waging war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Hamas pays these Salafis to safeguard its stockpile of weapons in the Sinai and to refrain from interfering with its smuggling operations. At the same time, it provides medical treatment to ISIS fighters and shares military and logistical knowhow with them. Indeed, Hamas sees ISIS' Sinai branch as an allied force, which it can use to attack Israel from Egyptian soil. During Operation Protective Edge, for example, these organizations helped Hamas by firing rockets at Eilat.
So now we are waiting to see what Egypt will do. Israel has lived up to its side of the agreement and, in contravention of the peace accord, has allowed Egypt to send military equipment into the Sinai – including fighter jets, attack helicopters and tanks. Israel agreed to everything that the Egyptians requested. The problem is that the Egyptian strategy of trying to isolate the Salafis from the local population has failed. The Egyptians have also failed in their efforts to isolate Gaza and to drive a wedge between Hamas' armed wing and the Salafi terrorist organizations. As things currently appear, unless the Egyptian army manages to neutralize the ISIS threat and to sever its financial and military lifelines, and if it fails to hermitically seal off Gaza from the Sinai, the problem will eventually reach our border."
WAITING FOR SISSI: Writing on the Walla! website, Ehud Eilam says that, in order to help Egypt tackle its terrorism problem in the Sinai, Israel must share intelligence, allow the Egyptian army to send troops there – and must encourage the United States and other Western powers to invest in the Sinai.
"The Egyptian security forces sustained heavy losses in yesterday's terror attack in the Sinai Peninsula, not far from the border with Israel. This is another example of the all-out war that is going on inside Egypt – especially in the Sinai – between the Cairo regime and security forces against guerillas and terrorists.
Following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, there was a marked deterioration in the security situation and the economic situation in Egypt. Abdelfattah el-Sissi, who came to power in July 2013, has been trying ever since to get his country back on its feet. One of the key challenges that he is facing is to stamp out terrorist activity in the Sinai. The Sinai might be a desert in terms of its topography, but it's a jungle when it comes to the terrorists and guerillas who use it as a base to spread their violence across the entire country – violence which will only intensify. Just a few days ago, Egypt's prosecutor general was assassinated in a car bomb attack outside his home. In the Sinai itself, Egyptian security forces have lost around 1,000 men since May 2011.
Sissi is desperately trying to strengthen the Egyptian economy by inviting investors, by planning a second canal to increase income and by other means. One of the main branches of the Egyptian economy, which has taken a near fatal blow in recent years, is tourism. The Sinai was once a popular destination for foreign tourists. It's not unheard of for tourists to visit the site of famous battles, but not while the bullets are still flying. The almost daily reports of attacks in the Sinai are making sure that tourists will not return to the peninsula any time soon.
In order to encourage tourists, Egypt first needs to reassure them that they will return home safely. The anarchy in the Sinai is attracting all kinds of guerilla fighters and terrorists – not the kind of people that Egyptian tourism officials wanted to bring. In theory, Egypt could focus all of its attention on those areas of the Sinai which have traditionally attracted tourists, but if there were to be a terror attack elsewhere on the peninsula, tourists could conclude that the whole region is unsafe. Any potential tourist considering a vacation in the Sinai who hears about a terror attack there isn't going to take the trouble to find out how close it is to his hotel. Incidentally – this is a problem that Israel also suffers from. All it takes is one terror attack to convince tourists from overseas that the whole country is under constant attack from terrorists.
Mohammed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader, served as Egypt's president for a year – from the end of June 2012 to early July 2013. At first, he tried to quell the fighting in the Sinai by means of dialogue; when that failed, he used force. Sissi, a former general, adopted the Israeli approach of fighting the terrorists without taking into account the rule of law and without listening to the complaints of human rights organizations. But this aggressive approach only encourages the people of the Sinai to support the terrorists. Most of the people in the Sinai, from various Bedouin tribes, have been discriminated against for years and their basic needs have been overlooked.
If Egypt wants to defeat the Sinai-based terrorists, it must create a situation whereby the Bedouin are not forced to earn a living by helping those organizations behind the violence. But Egypt, which is suffering from a severe economic crisis, is finding it hard to transfer funds to the Sinai – despite the fact that it got a generous multi-billion dollar handout from the Gulf States, specifically for this cause.
As far as Israel is concerned, Sissi is a friendly pharaoh. That is why Israel is helping him to quash the terrorist activity in the Sinai. Not only does this help bring stability to Egypt, thereby safeguarding the peace agreement that the two countries signed almost four decades ago, it also ensures that terrorists do not cross over the border into the Negev. Therefore, Israel allowed Egypt to violate the terms of the peace accord, which defined the Sinai as a demilitarized zone. Ironically, in order to protect the peace agreement, Israel (temporarily) allowed the Egyptians to send large numbers of troops into the Sinai, to fight against terror and for peace.
Israel must maintain a top level of alert on the border with Egypt, especially near those small communities located close to Eilat, which is the Israeli city closest to Egypt. In addition, Israel must do whatever it can to help Egypt tackle the terrorism problem – militarily and economically – by sharing intelligence and encouraging the United States and other Western powers to invest in the development of the Sinai."
IF EGYPT FAILS: Writing in Israel Hayom, Yoav Limor says that, if Egypt fails to defeat the terrorists in the Sinai, they will soon turn on Israel.
"Egypt suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in its history yesterday: dozens of soldiers were killed and the timing of the attack – during the holy month of Ramadan – was particularly painful.
The attack, which targeted at least 10 Egyptian army outposts between el-Arish and Rafah, was well coordinated and involved dozens of terrorists, including suicide bombers. They used advanced weaponry, including Kornet antitank missiles, which were delivered to the Sinai several years ago, as part of efforts by Gaza-based terrorists to upgrade their arsenal. The Egyptian forces, which intensified their operations in the Sinai recently, were caught unprepared and large numbers of troops were redeployed from other parts of the Sinai throughout the course of the day. Their mission was to rebuff the terrorists and to retake the outposts that had been captured.
In recent years, Salafi terrorist organizations in the Sinai have grown in strength – thanks to the help of local Bedouin tribes and the 'import' of terrorists from other countries. Most of them operate under the flag of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, the organization that was responsible for firing several rockets at Eilat. Last year, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis swore allegiance to ISIS and started to get funding and instructions from it. Three years ago, members of the same organization carried out a similar attack, in which 17 Egyptian soldiers were butchered on a military base in the Sinai during Ramadan. The terrorists hijacked Egyptian military vehicles, crossed the border into Israel and were taken out in a series of airstrikes.
That attack is viewed in Egypt as a milestone in the war on terror. It was followed by a massive bolstering of troops in the Sinai and Israel even gave Cairo the green light to send Special Forces into the area – in violation of the peace deal between the two countries.
The events in the Sinai yesterday grabbed the attention of senior Israeli political and military figures, despite the fact that the prevalent opinion at this stage is that the terrorist organizations there have no intention of trying to cross the border into Israel. The main concern is that Egypt will lose total control of the Sinai and, as a result, the terrorists there will become even more daring. Special concern is reserved for the Gaza Strip, since the Salafi organizations in the Sinai have close ties with their counterparts in Gaza and because all of the recent rocket fire from Gaza has been the handiwork of these Salafi organizations – some of whom are trying to undermine Hamas' regime in the Strip.
It is impossible to comment on the Sinai terror attacks without relating to other attacks on Egyptian soil. Earlier this week, Egypt's prosecutor general was assassinated, presumably by Muslim Brotherhood terrorists marking the second anniversary of the ouster of Mohammed Mursi. This forced the government to move troops from the Sinai into Egypt itself, which, in turn, allowed the terrorists to carry out yesterday's attack.
Egyptian President Abdelfattah el-Sissi has already proved that he is determined to wage all-out war against terrorism, since he knows that, if he does not, he will be overthrown by it. If asked, Israel will give Egypt whatever help it needs to fight the terrorists, since Jerusalem knows that, if Cairo fails, the terrorists will sooner or later start moving toward Israel."
HELPLESS: Writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, Shimon Shiffer says that West Bank settlers deserve the same kind of government protection as residents of Tel Aviv.
"The Pavlovian response of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon to the recent wave of terror attacks in the West Bank was to demand – for umpteenth time – that Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas condemn the killings and promise to take firm action to apprehend the perpetrators. This is an empty response: The Israelis who live in settlements close to the scene of these attacks are not waiting for Abu Mazin to speak out; they know that sole responsibility for their security rests with Netanyahu, Ya'alon and the other members of this government.
In recent years, there have been no meaningful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and the Israelis who live in the West Bank expected the governments that Netanyahu has headed to ensure their safety under such sensitive conditions. This has not happened: Netanyahu preferred to focus on the Iranian threat and has failed to give appropriate attention to the sporadic outbreaks of violence among the Palestinians, which has claimed the lives of many Israelis.
It seems, therefore, that the overriding preference of the Israeli leadership is to refrain from making any decision one way or another: there's no progress toward any kind of political agreement and there's no decision to launch a major antiterrorism campaign, along the same lines as Operation Defensive Shield from 2002. Unilateral measures, such as annexing territories, withdrawing from certain areas and concentrating the settler population in the blocs that were recognized by George W. Bush, are also not on the agenda. In any case, they could not be an alternative to progress on the diplomatic front.
We cannot and must not emulate Egyptian President Abdelfattah el-Sissi, who announced this week that the death sentences passed against leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood would be carried out. Sissi is fighting an all-out war against terrorists in his country, but he is using the kind of brutal tactics that are not fitting for a democratic country which sees itself as an enlightened Western-style regime.
And yet, we have the right and the duty to demand that our government and our prime minister take decisive action against anyone who attacks Israelis – no matter where the attacks take place. The same protection that the government affords to residents of Tel Aviv must be afforded to residents of the West Bank. Our leaders must give the settlers the protection they need, rather than just appear at the bedsides of people injured in terror attacks for another photo-op. It's not enough for them to talk about the dangers lurking in every corner of the Middle East – they must act."
TRUCE OVER: Writing in Haaretz, Amos Harel says that recent events in the Sinai likely signal the end of the brief truce between Egypt and Hamas.
"The assassination of Egypt’s top prosecutor Monday turned out to be the opening shot of an attack by Islamic groups on the generals’ regime in Cairo. Wednesday's deadly and audacious onslaught in Sinai — whose timing around the second anniversary of Egypt’s military coup is no coincidence — poses a hefty challenge to the Egyptian government.
Arab media attributed the coordinated attacks in Sinai to Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. It seems they were carried out by a faction known as Wilayat Sinai (Province of Sinai), the largest Islamic group in the peninsula. It has been fighting the Egyptian regime for years. In its previous incarnation, the group was known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, but toward the end of last year, following Islamic State’s huge and unexpected military victories in Syria and Iraq, the group changed its name and transferred its allegiance from Al-Qaida. In return, it received a new ideological umbrella and financial aid from the enormous profits Islamic State has reaped since it seized Iraqi oil fields.
In numerical terms — the number of fighters compared with the number of losses inflicted — the Sinai group is the most deadly Islamic State faction in the Middle East. In March, Israeli intelligence estimated that Wilayat Sinai had only a few hundred fighters, but within a year and a half it killed more than 300 Egyptian security personnel in Sinai. Wednesday that number rose by several dozen; according to reports in the afternoon, at least 64 Egyptian soldiers and policemen had been killed in attacks on military checkpoints and police stations.
Wilayat Sinai also suffered losses, but it seems that in the image war — vital to a terror group seeking to undermine a regime — the terrorists came out on top. Based on experience, we can assume the group documented the attacks. Those videos, if and when they are posted, will have an effect on morale.
The militants simultaneously attacked 15 security positions and checkpoints from Rafah and El-Arish in northern Sinai to the town of Sheikh Zuweid to the south. They used advanced Kornet antitank missiles, car bombs and suicide bombers. According to an unconfirmed report, they even downed an Egyptian Apache helicopter. In battles that raged late into the night, the Egyptian military responded largely with F-16s and attack helicopters.
Also, following a report that Islamic State had snatched an Egyptian armored personnel carrier, Israel closed the crossings at Nitzana and Kerem Shalom for fear terrorists would try to use the vehicle to breach the border, similar to an effort at Kerem Shalom in 2012. The Israel Defense Forces believes that though Islamic State’s Sinai efforts are designed to help overthrow the Egyptian government, the group sees Israel as a secondary target. This contrasts with the extremist factions in Syria like the Nusra Front, which refrain from attacking Israel on the Golan Heights.
In any case, the terror wave in Egypt didn’t come out of nowhere. Every day there are at least three or four terror attempts by Islamic factions in Sinai or mainland Egypt. At the beginning of the week three Egyptian road workers were killed in such an effort. But the killing of Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat shows that even President Abdelfattah al-Sissi may not be immune to the fate of one of his predecessors, Anwar Sadat, who was killed by Muslim extremists after reaching a peace treaty with Israel.
Israel was very pleased with the military coup two years ago that brought down the man it considered a problematic partner, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi, and ushered into power generals who don’t hide (at least in private meetings) their admiration for Israel and their view of Israel as a partner in the war on terror. Sissi, unlike Mursi, keeps his distance from Hamas in Gaza and has often put greater pressure on the Strip than Israel has.
But the military coup came with a heavy price. As analyst Mohamad Bazzi noted in a Reuters column, the generals’ regime has apparently brought some stability to Egypt and relieved it of the Muslim Brotherhood’s amateurish economic management. But it has also created tremendous frustration among Brotherhood supporters because the first president elected in a free and fair election was toppled. According to Bazzi, the coup also reinforced the notion that the only way to achieve political power in Egypt is violence. The show trials for Muslim Brotherhood leaders, the wholesale death sentences for members of the movement, including Mursi, and the military's killing of 1,000 pro-Brotherhood demonstrators in August (which Israel has forgotten) only strengthen that impression.
Israel will certainly help Egypt fight terror in Sinai, albeit indirectly and with a low profile. But what might be more important for Jerusalem is Sissi and the generals’ relationship with Hamas. Though Cairo has long accused Hamas of aiding the Sinai extremists, the relationship between the generals and Hamas thawed somewhat after Saudi Arabia asked Egypt to reduce its pressure on Gaza (and perhaps also because Hamas was forced to rein in Salafi groups in Gaza that were firing rockets at Israel).
Now it’s reasonable to assume this truce is over. Egypt knows that Hamas needs the Sinai Islamic groups because they’re the desert rulers, the ones who control the area containing arsenals and the few smuggling routes left between Sinai and the Rafah smuggling tunnels. If Cairo accuses Hamas of supporting Sinai groups, it may well consider punishing Gaza. This may seem unlikely, but in an extreme scenario even an Egyptian airstrike on 'terror targets' in southern Gaza is possible."
TROUBLE IN THE SINAI: Writing in The Jerusalem Post, Zvi Mazel says that U.S. President Barack Obama, who has not severed his links with the Muslim Brotherhood, is apparently not giving enough weight to the decisive role played by Egypt in the fight against radical Islam.
"Fighting broke out Wednesday morning in the northeastern section of the Sinai Peninsula as the local branch of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an organization that has sworn allegiance to Islamic State, simultaneously targeted a number of military targets in what was undoubtedly the largest attack ever in the region.
By evening the battle was still ongoing, and the Egyptian military already had suffered double-digit casualties, with expectation of more. Incredibly, the all-knowing security services had no advance warning of a major concerted operation that must have involved considerable planning: preparing arms and ammunition; vehicles; surveillance; as well as communication channels to coordinate the moves.
The thousands of Egyptian soldiers stationed in Sinai heard and saw nothing; the roadblocks reported no suspicious traffic. Apache helicopters crisscrossing the skies were unaware of what was happening. Perhaps worse, the surprise was such that soldiers reacted sluggishly and only after having suffered significant losses.
Egypt is still trying to find a fitting answer to a complex situation. It does not lack troops on the ground – Israel has agreed to let it move as many soldiers into Sinai as is needed to fight terrorism. The problem is that the Egyptian Army lacks special forces trained to fight in the desert and mountainous regions where terrorists are probably sheltering and getting organized.
Furthermore, those terrorists are aided and abetted by the Bedouin population. Neglected for decades by the Cairo government, the Bedouin were easily swayed by elements of radical Islam trying to infiltrate the area and prepared to pay well for their assistance. It started some 15 years ago, as Bedouin helped smuggle missiles and explosives dispatched by Iran into Gaza, using the hundreds of tunnels Hamas had built under the Egyptian border.
Then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak turned a blind eye, believing it was 'not his job' to supervise what was getting inside Gaza and he did not foresee the danger for his country in spite of Israeli warnings. His fall was a near fatal blow to the security apparatus of Egypt, especially in the Sinai Peninsula, where it has yet to recover.
During his short tenure, 2012-2013, president Mohamed Mursi, a dedicated Muslim Brother, gave radical organizations in Sinai a free reign and deliberately prevented the army – led by general Abdelfattah al-Sissi, whom he himself had appointed minister of defense – from acting.
Today, Egypt is facing a well-organized terrorist force familiar with the area, which has the support of Bedouin, elements from Gaza and even from Libya, where Islamic militias are active and infiltrate arms and militants into Egypt. The ouster of Mursi and of the Muslim Brotherhood energized Islamic movements that are receiving information and intelligence from the Brothers regarding suitable targets to damage Egyptian infrastructure and economy.
President Sissi had intended focusing all his efforts on economic development to lift Egypt out of its catastrophic situation. He has met with no little success – he is about to open a second Suez canal, which will halve the time needed for the crossing and triple revenues. He has increased electricity production and canceled 80 percent of energy subsidies. The International Monetary Fund has applauded the beginning of a modest economic growth – 3 percent.
The president has many other projects, but is thwarted by terrorism not only in the peninsula but in the whole of the country – from Cairo, where the public prosecutor was assassinated two days ago, to distant provinces. He also is working to reform the way Islam is taught. Yet, the Egyptian president is not getting any help from the United States or Europe, both still calling him a military dictator who forcibly ejected a democratically elected president. Neither understood that Mursi was about to set up an Islamic dictatorship.
U.S. President Barack Obama, who has not severed his links with the Muslim Brotherhood, is apparently not giving enough weight to the decisive role played by Egypt in the fight against radical Islam. Far from granting the country the military and economic assistance it needs, he only recently restored the supply of a measure of military assistance, while still refusing to let Egypt get sophisticated equipment that would make it easier for the army to engage in guerrilla-type warfare in the difficult Sinai terrain."
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