Less than 2 weeks after, Another terror cell waiting to strike from Sinai Peninsula

Less than two weeks since the terror attack on Israel by extreme terrorists originating from the Gaza Strip that took the lives of 8 Israelis, and another in a rocket that was launched two days later, an intelligence tip has alerted that a terror cell by the extreme terror group, Islamic Jihad, has already left the Gaza Strip and is waiting for the chance to strike.

Two weeks ago, another intelligence tip was present. A S.W.A.T team sat in ambush all night. However, when the sun came up, the estimation was that no terrorists would dare cross the border-fence in broad daylight and in front of an Egyptian post. Two weeks ago they were wrong. Fortunately, the team was only regrouping until nightfall and were near by (in the city Eilat), so when first reports of the events arrived, they managed to get to the scene relatively quickly and prevent a greater loss of life (along with the resourcefulness of drivers on Highway 12 – the bus driver who was quit to escape, and private vehicles who saw the events and heard the shots and turned back, warning people to stop on the way).

This time Israel is not taking any chances – it not only alerted the public of the threat, but has closed down Highways 10 and 12 for all travelling. This warning is not new, but uncharacteristically made it public when it was apparent that complete Highways will be shut down and that there is a chance that once again, the loss of life would not be prevented. This is only done in an attempt to deter the terrorists.

Israel’s Home Front Defense Minister, Matan Vilani, has said this morning that: “We know of cell of at least 10 people, seeking to attack from the Sinai Peninsula.” He added that Israel is working in close ties with the Egyptians to foil the attack.

Israel withholds from attack, sits back on the defense

Israel is not doing much actively than deploying soldiers and attempting to catch the terrorists when they try to cross the border. Is it not taking any measures to attack or harm the Islamic Jihad terror group. Moreover, it claims that the head of this cell and operation has already been assassinated on August 23rd as he was driving in Gaza – Ismail Al-Asmar, who also took part in the terror attack two weeks ago. His death was met with a barrage of over 20 rockets on Israeli citizens.

At the end of the day, Israel is taking somewhat of risk (which is one of reasons why it closed highways 10 and 12), in an effort to stabilize the region – Israel is not only seeking peace and quiet at its’ border, but it is seeking peace with its’ neighbors, especially Egypt.

The situation is Egypt has put Israel is a catch-22 position. The government and army in a post-revolution Egypt are more terrified from the public’s opinions and demonstrations than anything else (again, this resembles more anarchy than a movement towards democracy, but it is a very fragile state in Egypt as of now). Which is why Israel is trying to work more diplomatically than militarily. The current (supposed to be temporary) government and supreme military council in Egypt is fighting for its’ survival and is afraid, just like Israel, that Egypt would fall into the hands of extremists, like the Muslim Brothers movement, one of the main leaders of the anti-Israel protests throughout Egypt.

Both Egypt and Israel fear that a precautionary offensive against the terror group would reignite the Anti-Israeli violence (after only yesterday the flag of Israel was returned to stand on top of the Embassy). Which is why Israel has made the intelligence tip public. It serves two purposes:

  1. Hamas is responsible for the Gaza Strip and is interested in good relations with the newly-formed government in Egypt. It is also seeking a new headquarters now that it is no longer safe for them in Syria and the future of Bashar al-Assad is “uncertain”. However, they fail time and time again to prevent terror against Israel from being committed from and on Egyptian soil. They are putting the lives of Egyptians, most civilians and soldiers,  in the Sinai Peninsula at risk and failing (not to say advocating) war and bloodshed, pulling Egypt into the ring as well.
  2. According to reports on Both Israeli and Egyptian media, Israel has allowed Egypt to boost up military and security forces in the Sinai Peninsula in the hunt against terrorists (1,500 soldiers enter Sinai this past day). It is of mutual interest that the Egyptian public see what is really happening in the Sinai Peninsula. Combined with the reports of Egyptian media of police uncovering weapons caches in the Peninsula, it hopes the truth will slowly sink in. If not for the extremists, than at least for the majority. The Egyptian media is coloring this in just phrases like “bringing back security” and is broadcasting pictures and images of numerous terrorists and weapon caches being caught by security forces. The supreme military council in Egypt has even convened the heads of the Bedouin tribes in Sinai to explain them about the operation and remind them of the importance to Egypt’s security and to not letting it be a terror base.
I hope that this terror cell will be stopped in time and that there will be no casualties of this looming attack. Catching the terrorists before they do any actual harm is the key for quiet and stability. Otherwise, just as the school year is starting, a new round of escalation could start.
At the point, I would also like to personally condemn and say I am outraged hearing about the shooting outside of the mosque in Denmark. Whether or not this is terror against Muslims remains to be seen, but the shooting itself, especially when resulting in loss of life.

An update about the terror attack 2 nights ago in Tel-Aviv: The terrorists continues to claim he was acting on his own. It seems 3 border patrol fighters were critically harmed and are still hospitalized (total number of wounded is still 8). This terror attack originated from territories under the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority who once again fails to condemn an attack – while releasing a message condemning the attack against civilians (which seems to give legitimization to violence against non-civilians which would only escalate the matter. Sorry, my eyes are towards their “non-violent protests in September”). However, once again while condemning a terror attack directed against Israel, the Palestinian Authority finds more words to condemn Israel for other things. This time, while still ignoring the rockets fired at Israel, the Palestinian Authority condemned Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza. As usual.

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