Friday, August 24, 2012

Egypt Enters Sinai

Nadene Goldfoot
After the 1973 war with Egypt, we had a peace treaty in 1979 and Israel agreed to withdraw its troops and citizens from the Sinai and return it to Egypt in return for normal relations and a restriction on the number of Egyptian troops to enter Sinai, especially near the border with Israel.

Cairo, Egypt has just  moved  aircraft and tanks in the Sinai for the first time since the 1973 war with Israel.  The reason for this was to chase Islamist militants involved in the August 5th attack.

Egypt's defense minster, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi telephoned Ehud Barak and talked about coordinating with Israel on these Sinai military operations.  This was reported through Al- Hayat, the Arabic-language news agency.  Sisi affirmed their commitment to keeping the peace treaty with Israel in the phone call.

Speculation was whether their relations could break down or not with this military build-up for the counter-terror operations.  President Morsi of Egypt  is of the Muslim Brotherhood, and they're not hep on being peaceful with Israel.

A big rally has been going on in Tahrir Square questioning the Muslim Brotherhood. On August 12th, Morsi dismissed top generals who were obstructing his orders, Morsi said.  Journalists were insulting him, so the claim goes, and they are in trouble.

Former Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin feels that what they are doing is that they are showing a significant effort to deal with terrorists, and this he approves of.

This move into the Sinai comes after an attack earlier on Egyptian border guards that left 16 dead.  They were also trying to breach the border with Israel.  Israel knew about the plans before it even happened and had warned Egypt about it.  Then Israel agreed to their sending in more troops to control the terrorists.

Secretary of state Hilary Clinton added that it was most important to produce transparency on these military moves in the Sinai.  After all, she backs up her statements  with money.  It would be reassuring if this was not necessary, but I don't think it would happen without this carrot.  Perhaps future practice will eventually become natural and one day will happen without such bribes.  It's nice to not have to hurry into war for both sides.  There are enough problems .


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