The Muslim Brotherhood, the group spearheading the ruling political force in Egypt’s new government, accused the Israeli Mossad of possibly being behind a terror attack on Sunday that killed over a dozen Egyptian security personnel and was eventually stopped by Israel. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), citing the IDF, said on their website the attackers hijacked an Egyptian military vehicle and drove it into Israeli territory before the Israeli Air Force killed the terrorists.
Israel strongly believes the attack was targeting them along with Egypt. The MFA website said the attackers hit an Egyptian military outpost in the Egyptian Sinai, with the captured armored personnel carrier breaking into Israel after an explosives-laden truck blew up at the Eygpt-Israel border.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in comments released by his office, stressed the threat posed by the terrorists, as they were armed with suicide belts and the bomb-filled truck.
“There is no doubt that if they had entered a town here or an army bases by surprise, they could have caused very serious damage,” said Barak.
However, despite the apparent intention of striking at Israel and the Israeli response that killed the terrorists, the Muslim Brotherhood openly asked if the Mossad spy agency carried out the attack.
In a statement on their official English website, the Brotherhood said, “this crime may well be the work of Israel’s Mossad,” with the intention of troubling Egypt and causing problems for the new Egyptian government. The Brotherhood also reiterated claims that Israel has sought to hurt the country’s revolution.
The Brotherhood also issued an implied challenge to the terms of the historic peace treaty with Israel, saying in the statement, “This crime also draws our attention to the fact that our forces in the Sinai lack the personnel and the equipment to protect the region or guard our borders, which makes it imperative to review the terms of our accords with Israel.”
Israel has repeatedly urged Egypt to keep the three-decades old peace treaty. It was unclear how dramatic a change the Brotherhood were seeking, as the treaty places clear limits on troop deployments in the Sinai, which sits between Egypt-proper and Israel.
There have been reports in Israeli media that Egypt and Israel have already made secret mutually-agreed upon changes to how they handle the militarization in and around the Sinai in an effort to confront the growing terror threat from the region.
The Brotherhood, which has close links to the Hamas group that rules Gaza, said the attack by “a group of criminals and terrorists” was an effort to “drive a wedge” between Egypt and Gaza.
Gaza terrorists, including Hamas, have launched a number of terror attacks upon Israel, including a vicious attack from the Sinai roughly one year ago. Israel accused the Global Jihad group of being behind Sunday’s strike.
Israel, in contrast to the Brotherhood’s statements, emphasized the importance of the treaty between Israel and Cairo. “Israel wishes to convey its condolences to Egypt and to the Egyptian people on the killing of security forces servicemen by terrorists,” said a statement on the Israeli MFA website. “This barbaric attack caused the death of Egyptians, and was meant to slay Israelis as well. Moreover, it aimed at shattering the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.”
Barak commented on the security situation in the Egyptian Sinai, saying, “I hope that this will be a wakeup call for Egypt regarding the necessity to be sharp and efficient on their side.”
Meanwhile, the Israeli MFA statement noted that “Israel will continue to act in a spirit of cooperation with Egypt in order to preserve this vital interest and ensure security and stability in the region.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 7, 2012)