Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Could Egypt Invade Gaza Next?

Egyptian soldiers keep watch in Sinai

Sinai: Terrorist Insurgency Against Egypt - Abdallah Schleifer

Egypt is still reeling from the coordinated attack in the Sinai last week that cost 33 soldiers their lives. Army investigators said dozens were involved in this highly-coordinated attack, which benefited from experienced and possibly foreign hands. According to rumors circulating among Sinai tribesmen, there is now a working relationship between the Islamic State and a rejuvenated, enlarged Ansar al-Maqdis that has incorporated other local jihadist groups. There are reports from Syria that former Egyptian officers with jihadist
sympathies, who had fled Egypt and now serve as a mainstay for ISIS intelligence, are involved.

In other words, Sinai is now home to a full-fledged insurgency, in all likelihood operating from bases in Gaza close to the border with Egypt, and staffed increasingly by Egyptians and Gazans who are believed to have travelled to Syria and Iraq and have now returned. The threat of a Hamas-tolerated or clandestinely-aided jihadist insurgency based in Gaza and raiding the Sinai would be cause for the Egyptian military to enter Gaza and destroy the insurgency
The writer, a veteran American journalist covering the Middle East, is professor emeritus at the American University in Cairo. 


John Vagabond said...

If they do - and al-Sissi is no pushover, the Gazans will remember with near-affection, the 'door-knocking' Israelis. These guys won't be anything like as sympathetic. Gaza would be better off in Egyptian hands but the inevitable loss of civilian life resulting from a determined incursion will probably discourage them.

Bruce said...

Indeed, an Egyptian incursion would be gravely different, pun intended, from an Israeli one. It is also possible that Gaza will one day be returned to Egypt and parts of the West Bank to Jordan. But a lot can happen in the Middle East…