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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Egypt has chemical weapons deployed in Sinai?

The Egyptian government weekly al-Ahram publishes a lengthy diatribe in English by one Abdel-Moneim Said, the director of the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, who answers critics of Egypt's tough actions against both the 'internationals' attempting to reach Gaza and the Gazans attempting to breach their border with Egypt.

Buried deep in the article is the obligatory lengthy diatribe against Israel. It includes the following:
Egypt knows very well how to distinguish between the threats posed to its national security by the Gaza tunnels and the threat posed by Israel, and it is handling each in an appropriate manner. Nor is Egypt blind to the fact that Israel still occupies Arab land and that this occupation by arms and settlers not only violates the historical rights of the peoples whose land is occupied but also jeopardises the stability of the entire region, Egypt included. Egypt is equally aware that Israel is a nuclear power that refuses to abide by the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and that, therefore, stimulates the spread of weapons of mass destruction in the region, which is also a threat to Egypt. Nor has it escaped Egypt that Israel, which has some very influential racist and extremist trends, has always opposed the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty and has constantly sought to undermine it; that it continues to regard Egypt as its foremost enemy in the Middle East precisely because of the powers and resources Egypt has as a real state.

Egypt's strategic calculations take all the foregoing factors into account. In addition, these calculations do not rely solely on international law, international guarantees and even the peace treaty, for history has seen hundreds of peace treaties thrown to the winds. Nor do they rely solely on the presence of international forces to guarantee the faithful implementation of the provisions of agreements. Egypt also relies on its own autonomous power to defend its territory. Some have wondered why Egypt does not build a wall against Israel like the wall it is building along the Egyptian-Gaza border. Walls cannot stand up against tanks, planes and missiles. But Egypt does have another type of wall. It exists in the form of powerful military forces that can move rapidly to support Egyptian forces that are, in fact, stationed in the Sinai, and the capacity to shift the battle to the Israeli interior by means of missiles capable of reaching every corner of that country. Israel is acutely cognizant of the destructive power of Egypt's weapons and of the fact that Egypt has not signed any of the conventions pertaining to chemical weapons. Moreover, Egypt established the credibility of its deterrent power in the 1973 October War that informed Israel that the Egyptians were resolved not to let any of their land remain under occupation and to make occupiers pay a heavy price.
The parts I have highlighted, and particularly what I have marked in red, seem to indicate that Egypt has missiles deployed in Sinai that can reach anywhere in Israel, and may even have chemical weapons deployed there that can do the same. I always understood that the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel required that the Sinai be demilitarized. The Egyptians are apparently saying that is not the case.


The picture at the top is the Rafah border between Gaza and Egypt when the 'Palestinians' knocked it down in January 2008.


At 4:28 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

Egypt has an interest to fight the Iran, Hamas, Syria, Al Qaida axis, Israel is out of the vision for the next 10yrs

At 7:15 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel is still the enemy. The peace treaty is just a formality.


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