Egyptian Army plans attack on targets in Gaza

SPECIAL REPORT FROM EGYPT

In response to Egyptian intel assessment that Gaza militants are responsible for some attacks in Sinai, Egyptian reconnaissance planes have identified potential hostile targets in Palestinian coastal territory, security official tells Ma’an.

By YASSER OKBI, THE POST CORRESPONDENT

 

The Egyptian army has planned military attacks on specific targets in the Gaza Strip in the event that the security situation in the northern Sinai peninsula deteriorates, a senior Egyptian security official told the Ma’an news agency.

Egyptian Army soldiers patrol in Sinai.

Egyptian Army soldiers patrol in an armored vehicle backed by a helicopter gunship during a sweep through villages in in Sheikh Zuweyid, northern Sinai, Egypt in May. – Photo: AP

The source said that Egyptian reconnaissance planes had photographed the potential targets.

According to intelligence sources, the Egyptian Army would attack from the air.

The plan to attack targets in Gaza is based on the Egyptian assessment that some of the attacks in the northern Sinai, especially in El Arish and in Rafiah were carried out by armed Palestinians based in Gaza.

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The security source said that the Egyptian Army is specifically targeting the extremist groups in Gaza who are regarded as hostile and it does not view the entire population there in this way.

The recent attack on the intelligence center in Rafiah was carried out by the extremist Gaza groups, the source told Ma’an.

Last week Egypt opened the Rafah crossing, its main border with the Gaza Strip after it was closed for a week and-a-half

The terminal had been closed most of the time since the ouster of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi on July 3 due to the Egyptian accusation leveled against Hamas of its involvement in terrorist attacks against Egyptian soldiers in Sinai – an allegation the Islamist movement has vehemently denied.

Egypt recently warned of a military response if Hamas or other Palestinian groups try to violate Egyptian security in Sinai.

Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told the London-based newspaper al-Hayat there was “tension” in Cairo’s relationship with Hamas, an ideological offshoot of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. He suggested Hamas was not helping enough to secure the border.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.

View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Report-Egypts-army-is-planning-to-attack-targets-in-Gaza-327769

 

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