World View: Israel and Egypt Cooperate Against Terrorists in Sinai

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Israel and Egypt cooperate against terrorists in Sinai
  • War breaks out between anti-Assad rebel factions in Syria

Israel and Egypt cooperate against terrorists in Sinai

Map of Sinai (Economist)
Map of Sinai (Economist)

Since the beginning of Egypt's revolution and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak over two years ago, violence has been growing in Egypt's Sinai region, which borders both Gaza and Israel. There have been numerous attacks on Egyptian security personnel, as well as rocket attacks on Israel, fueled by Islamist terrorists coming from Gaza and by anger and discontent among the native Bedouins. Whatever the political turmoil in Egypt or Israel, all of that is put aside, and the two countries are cooperating closely to fight Sinai terrorism. 

Hamas, which governs Gaza, have been bitterly disappointed by the revolution. Mubarak had kept the Gaza/Egypt border firmly under control. Hamas had hoped that with Mubarak gone, the border would be opened -- and it was for a while. These hopes were doubled when Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood came to power, as Hamas was originally an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

But the increasing terrorist activity in Sinai has trumped everything. Except for brief periods of reprieve, Egypt has closed the Rafah border crossing that allows the passage of people and goods between Gaza and Egypt. Not only that, but Egypt's army has closed more than forty major tunnels along the border that Gazans have been using to smuggle people and goods back and forth. 

The Sinai situation has deteriorated significantly in the two weeks since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi. Jihadists from Gaza, as well as Salafi jihadists from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, have been targeting Egyptian and Israeli assets, and Egypt's new interim government has responded by firmly shutting down all traffic between Gaza and Egypt. On Friday, an Egyptian helicopter crossed over into Gaza airspace -- supposedly by accident, but quite possibly as a show of force against Hamas. 

Egypt opened the Rafah crossing two days ago but closed it again on Friday for security reasons. There are 1.7 million Palestinians living in Gaza, and the closing of the Rafah crossing and the smuggling tunnels has led to an acute shortage of food and goods in Gaza, particularly fuel. The increasing violence in Sinai makes it just one more of the many Mideast flash points that could spiral out of control at any time. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Debka and Jamestown and Economist

War breaks out between anti-Assad rebel factions in Syria

As the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, allied with the Iranian-sponsored terror group Hezbollah and supplied with an unending stream of heavy weapons from Russia, continues its bloody assault on the people of Syria, a conflict is breaking out between two of the opposition rebel factions. A Syrian rebel commander with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was shot and killed by another rebel group consisting of jihadists from al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra. There has been escalating violence between the two groups, fighting over the spoils of war. However, it looks increasingly like an al-Assad victory is approaching, and in that case neither of the rebel groups will get its way. Al-Jazeera and BBC

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Israel, Egypt, Sinai, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Gaza, Hosni Mubarak, Bedouins, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Jabhat al-Nusra, Free Syrian Army, FSA 

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