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    » 08/08/2012, 00.00


    Egyptian air strike on Sinai. At least 20 dead

    Helicopters and jets have bombed the village of al-Arish, where radical Islamists who killed 16 Egyptian border guards were in hiding. A test for President Morsi. Israel calls for more security and emphasizes the presence of global radical Jihad in the Gaza Strip. Hamas on the defensive.

    Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Egyptian security forces, aided by helicopters and fighter jets fired missiles killing 20 Islamist militants after an attack three days ago against an Egyptian checkpoint, and the deaths of 16 border guards. A military commander stationed in the Sinai confirmed that the affected area is the village of al-Arish, where the Islamist group was in hiding.

    The military offensive is ongoing and is a test for the new president Mohammed Morsi. The area in question includes Rafah which is the only point of contact for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with the outside world. But the passage is also used to smuggle goods and weapons to attack Israel.

    Israel is calling for greater Egyptian control and security on Islamist groups that do not obey even Hamas, the rulers of the Gaza Strip. To ensure control, Morsi must be tough with these radical Islamist groups, risking the anger and discontent of radicals who support him and Muslims in general.

    In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt attributed the attack three days ago to an Israeli "conspiracy". But an Egyptian security officer has stressed that the action was down to Islamist militants operating in the Sinai, with radicals crossing from Gaza.

    Nitzan Nuriel, former head of counterterrorism in Israel, speaking to Radio Israel, says he is convinced that "militants from the global jihad are joining terrorist actions in the Gaza Strip and in Sinai, and that this is very, very problematic."

    Israel and Egypt's suspicions and accusations are likely to further isolate Hamas, the radical group in power in the Gaza Strip. Hamas immediately condemned the attack three days ago, calling it "terrorism" and said that "the Palestinian resistance groups have pledged to fight only against the Israeli occupation and they launch their operations only from within the Palestinian territories."

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    See also

    06/08/2012 EGYPT - ISRAEL
    Sinai, armed Egyptian group kills 16 police
    The attack occurred last night near the Rafah crossing. The commandos stormed the checkpoint with armored vehicles, anti-tank rockets and grenades. There are still no claims of responsibility. This morning the Israeli army found the bodies of five assailants. The Egyptian president declares a state of emergency.

    18/06/2012 ISRAEL - EGYPT
    Sinai, firefight between Israeli forces and Egyptian Islamic terrorists; two dead
    It is suspected to be a demonstrative act to celebrate the likely victory of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the presidential elections. The shooting occurred along the fortified barrier along the border. The extremists penetrated through the Gaza Strip. Among the dead, a terrorist and a worker from the Israeli Defense Force.

    23/02/2009 ISLAM - EGYPT
    Attack in Cairo. Suspicions point to Hezbollah and Iran
    A young French tourist is dead. Wounded other French, a German, three Saudis and four Egyptians. It is an attack on the Egyptian tourist industry, already humbled by the global economic crises.

    24/01/2008 EGYPT – ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    Egypt blocks Palestinian ‘exodus’ in Rafah
    Since yesterday Egypt’s border police has allowed some 350,000 Gazans to reach Rafah driven by the need to buy food and fuel. Ordered by Egyptian President Mubarack, police is today stopping cars and people illegally coming through the breaks in the border wall. In Israel the country’s High Court is asked to hear a petition presented by some associations who want the blockade lifted.

    26/01/2008 PALESTINE - ISRAEL
    Palestinians continue flooding into Egypt
    The Egyptian army seems powerless to stop the flood, which is now flowing in both directions. Mubarak appeals for dialogue between Hamas and Fatah. Egyptians and Israelis demonstrate against the isolation of the Gaza Strip.

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