- After the Rafah attack, it was noticeable that the Egyptian government refrained from condemning the terrorists’ plan to carry out a mass-casualty attack in Israel. Indeed, senior Muslim Brotherhood figures pointed an accusing finger at Israel, claiming it was behind the attack in an attempt to create a rift between Egypt and Hamas.
- Apart from the anti-Israel propaganda line, the investigation of the attack by Egyptian intelligence found tracks leading in the direction of Gaza. Security sources in Egypt told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm al-Saba that the Palestinian organization Army of Islam was responsible for the attack. They said that the day before it occurred, there was a meeting in one of the homes of the Army of Islam’s leader in Rafah; about 35 activists participated, and it was decided to carry out the attack.
- Egypt’s policy is similar to that of Hamas toward the Salafi terror organizations within its territory: the regime views the organizations as legitimate and does not intend to proscribe them so long as they do not undermine the central government or harm its basic interests. Similar to Hamas, Egypt seeks to “tame” the Salafi organizations, put an end to their subversion, neutralize their potential damage to Egypt’s internal stability, and subject them to the new rules of the game, which will allow them limited freedom for jihad activity without infringing on Egyptian interests or entangling Egypt in direct responsibility for terror.
- Egypt’s supreme interest is to alter the terms of the Camp David agreement and enable full Egyptian sovereignty over all of Sinai, including in the military domain. In the government’s view, terror activity from the Egyptian border that does not stamp Egypt as directly responsible, helps exert pressure in Sinai, compelling Israel to agree to a permanent military deployment in the territory and making the demand for a change in the agreement an Israeli interest without Egypt paying any political price for it.
It is that last point that is the newest wrinkle in light of last week's terrorist attack, one which was originally assumed by many to undermine Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the end, it was the Egyptian military that was undermined.
And we have yet to see the full extent of the consequences for Israel.
- Egypt's Operations In Gaza, As In The Sinai, Appear To Be Illusory
- Are Egyptian Troops Stationed In The Sinai To Exert Full Egyptian Sovereignty There? (Updated)
- Now That Muslim Brotherhood Rules, What About All Those Weapons They Have Near Israel's Border?
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