Islamist Gunmen Attack Police In Egyptian Sinai

ICEJ News, 12 Jul 2013

An attack on an Egyptian security checkpoint near the border with Israel left one police officer dead and another wounded Friday morning, highlighting the increasingly fragile stability in the area. A report Thursday in the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper said the Army has killed or captured over 200 Islamist gunmen in the Penninsula in recent days, including nearly 80 fighters from the Palestinian terror militia Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip. Hamas denied the report. Meanwhile, the Israeli government is reportedly considering several requests from Cairo to deploy greater numbers of troops and more advanced weapons in the Sinai to fight the upsurge in terrorist activity, but have so far resisted calls to formally amend the military annex to the 1979 Camp David Accords peace treaty which de-militarized the territory.

Elsewhere, the US Navy and Marine Corps have quietly stationed the USS Kearsarge and the USS San Antonio, along with their escorts and contingents of thousands of US Marines, vehicles and aircraft, in the waters off Egyptís Red Sea coast.

The ships and troops are there "because we donít know whatís going to happen," said Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps. "Crisis happens. Egypt is a crisis right now. "

Elsewhere, the Obama Administration has initiated a review of the aid it send to Egypt, under pressure from Congress.

"Given the events of last week, the president has directed relevant departments and agencies to review our assistance to the government of Egypt," the Pentagon said in a statement.

Inside Egypt itself, there are growing indications that the violence and chaos sweeping the country is the work of a conspiracy involving Islamists and other Arab countries, as well as Israel.

"Beware the outsider," reads a poster stuck to a wall near Tahrir Square in Cairo. "Donít open your heart to him, you donít know who he is," another warns.

"Syrians, Palestinians, Israelis, you can find them on every street corner. Theyíre here to exploit the chaos," said Yusuf Al Desouki, waiter at a busy coffee shop in downtown Cairo.

"All those aggressors interfering in the internal affairs of Egypt can go to hell. All those defending them can go to hell too," Youssef Al Hosseiny, a popular radio and television presenter, said on his twitter account on Thursday.

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