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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Israel is Depending on Egypt for Security

Yes, that's a scary title. And no, that's not the title of the article I'm about to blog. But I think that if you read between the lines of this article, that's the conclusion you have to draw. Let's read together:

"We are surrounded," a senior security official said Tuesday, describing the aftermath of Monday's deadly attack on the Sinai beach resort of Dahab. [Yes, we are. There are terrorist bases in Sinai, Gaza and Lebanon - all of which were guarded by Israeli troops at one time. There are terrorist bases and logistical support in Syria. There is terrorist activity and a weak government in Jordan. There is financial support for terrorists in Saudi Arabia. There is terrorist activity in Iraq. Those are the countries with which we share (or in the Saudis' and Iraqis' case have proximity) borders. And Iran is threatening us with nuclear weapons. CiJ].

For months now, security officials have warned that al-Qaida and Global Jihad were slowly closing in on Israel and were attempting to establish cells in the Palestinian territories. Even though this most recent attack was not in Israel, it was still cause for concern at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, where senior officers on Tuesday referred to it as another sign of Global Jihad's encroachment on Israel.

In December, an al-Qaida cell in Lebanon fired Katyusha rockets at Kiryat Shmona, and in August Global Jihad-affiliated cells in Jordan fired Katyushas at Eilat.

But Monday's bombings did not come as a surprise to the defense establishment, which months ago issued an advisory against traveling to Egypt and particularly Sinai. [And there were still 5000 Israelis in Sinai this week. Blithering idiots! CiJ] Military Intelligence believes Sinai has turned into an al-Qaida hotbed whose cells were behind all of the latest Sinai terror attacks, including the bombings in Sharm e-Sheikh last July and in Taba in 2004, which together killed over 100 people.

Although Egypt has sent special forces into the Sinai hills of Jabal Halal to weed out the terror cells, Monday's attack, security officials said, proved that their efforts were not as effective as they may have thought. [In other words, now that we ceded the Sinai to Egypt as part of the Camp David Treaty we have no right to go in there and clean those cells out ourselves. We are dependent on the Egyptians. And we have handed the Egyptians an excuse to again amend the Camp David Treaty to allow them to build up more arms in Sinai - right on our doorstep. CiJ]

Evaluations note that the cells operating in the Sinai are composed of local Egyptian Beduin who are easily recruited into al-Qaida due to their disdain of President Hosni Mubarak's regime. [This is true in every country in the Arab world. Since they are all dictatorships, it will always be easy for al-Qaida to find recruits among those who are disaffected. The Bedouin in Sinai mostly still live in tent encampments that can be moved quickly. This makes them more difficult to catch. This is not the sort of thing that can be done in one-time raids. It requires constant vigilance. Due to the treaty constraints, Israel cannot devote that kind of vigilance. CiJ] It is also thought that the explosives used by the cells are no longer coming from old mines and tank shells left behind by Egyptian-Israeli wars, but are being smuggled into the Sinai from Egypt's neighbors, possibly even Saudi Arabia. [And possibly even through Egypt itself. CiJ]

Even as officials are concerned with the events inside Egypt, their real concern is whether the terror there would spill over into Israel.

Demonstrating the delicate situation along the fenceless Egyptian-Israeli border, three Sudanese refugees on Tuesday were caught south of Nitzana trying to infiltrate into the country.

While these infiltration attempts are thwarted almost daily, most of Israel's border with Egypt is wide open, as the government recently decided not to invest the funds necessary to close off the border with a security fence, as exists with Jordan and Lebanon. Instead, the army was ordered to reinforce its troops along the border, and two weeks ago the Golani reconnaissance unit replaced the Givati Brigade and took up - together with the Border Police's Ramon Battalion - surveillance and security.

Security services admit that they don't know how many infiltrators have gotten through undetected into Israel. [Those who come into Israel will find ready collaborators in Judea and Samaria and among the Israeli-Arab population. CiJ].

Last month, a senior security official stationed along the border with Egypt told The Jerusalem Post that Israel was concerned with the possibility that the Jihad cells, which he said were stationed a mere 30 km. away, would try to kidnap IDF troops or border policemen nearby. [For you Americans, 30 km. is about 18 miles. CiJ]

Security coordination with Egypt, a high-ranking IDF officer said, was at an all-time high [because we really need the Egyptians! CiJ] , with Israel keenly aware that the al-Qaida presence in Sinai posed a threat not only to Egyptian resort towns like Dahab, but also to the Negev and possibly even to central Israel.

The Egyptians, the officer said, had improved their patrols along the border with Gaza, and while the Rafah border terminal was open to anyone, the Egyptian Border Police units, he said, were doing a better job at stopping arms smuggling from their side of the border into Gaza.

The only hope, he said, was that they would have similar success in stopping al-Qaida in the Sinai. [And if the Egyptians wake up tomorrow morning and decide that they are going to create a crisis with Israel by 'suspending' security cooperation until we disarm ourselves of whatever nuclear arms we might have - a demand that is constant from the Egyptians - what will we do? And this article doesn't even start to get into the 12,000+ Katyushas sitting in Southern Lebanon under Hezbullah or whatever weapons Hamas and al-Qaida have amassed in Jordan or the weapons that Assad has in Syria - both his own and Iraq's.... If, God forbid, the Arabs decide to go to war, only God can save us from massive casualties. CiJ].

And in case you're thinking that al-Qaida is more interested in America, think again. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi says their goal is Jerusalem.


At 8:26 PM, Blogger Batya said...

depending upon Egypt?


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