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News Flash: New Phase in War as Terrorists Cross Egypt-Israel Border, Many Dead
Pajamas Media ^ | 8/18/2011 | Barry Rubin

Posted on 08/19/2011 4:24:41 AM PDT by IbJensen

This isn’t just another terrorist attack — it’s a major escalation, a new phase in the Arab-Israeli conflict in two ways. First, it is the bitter fruit of the U.S-backed downfall of the government of President Husni Mubarak in Egypt, opening the Egypt-Israel border as a new front in the war. Second, it is probably the first successful al-Qaida attack on Israel. (The Palestinian Popular Committees, a Gaza-based al-Qaida affiliate is the prime suspect.)

A group of up to 20 terrorists from the Gaza Strip travelled through Egypt using vehicles, then went through the Egyptian border area without any apparent difficulty. Approaching the Egypt-Israel border they fired at a regularly scheduled public bus and cars on highway 12 — a road between Beersheva and Eilat, then entered Israeli territory. Their armaments included mortars and an RPG, as well as handguns. Soldiers engaged the terrorists in a firefight. Several soldiers were wounded; seven terrorists were killed.

According to several eyewitnesses, the attackers were wearing Egyptian army uniforms, a detail which if true is going to be a major issue. Stolen or sold or provided by low-level sympathizers in the Egyptian army? And the site of the attack was near an Egyptian army outpost which — so far as we know now –didn’t do anything about it. One eyewitness said a terrorist was firing from an Egyptian army position. Again, these details will have to be checked by an investigation.

An explosive device, like the ones used in Iraq, was laid to ambush arriving Israeli troops. This is a very sophisticated and complex operation. Seven Israelis were killed: four people in one family whose car was attacked — including two children, aged four and six — and three soldiers riding on a public bus. At least 30 were wounded. For more than 30 years the Egyptian government ensured peace along the desolate border between the two countries. In the post-Mubarak phase – as I warned back in February – the successor regime is not so committed to the Egypt-Israel peace.

What I pointed out then still applies:

“There are many steps the Egyptian government could take [regarding Israel]: letting weapons flow and terrorists walk across the Egypt-Gaza border; not trying too hard to stop terrorists from crossing the Egypt-Israel border; not providing proper protection to Israeli citizens travelling in Egypt or to the Israeli embassy; recalling Egyptian diplomats from Israel; stepping up hostile and official anti-Israel incitement; and so on….

“Another problem is border security. Again, we are told that it is in the interest of Egypt, especially the army, to avoid having terrorists cross the border into Israel. Yet similar logic has often proven mistaken in previous, similar cases. With junior officers and soldiers sympathizing with Islamism or radical nationalism, the orders of the generals back in Cairo might not be followed with a high degree of discipline. There are already reports of al-Qaida planning to infiltrate into the Sinai to launch cross-border attacks.”

Military discipline has slackened and terrorist groups are increasingly operating in the Sinai Peninsula. The natural gas pipeline to Israel is bombed every time it is put back into operation. A current Egyptian operation is intended to clear out terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida, from north Sinai.

The initial phase was marked by virtually free smuggling of arms, weapons, and money into the Gaza Strip for the Hamas regime there. The Mubarak government, though its efforts were imperfect, had kept the flow of munitions limited, making it harder for Hamas to renew full-scale warfare against Israel. Now, a new conflict could break out any time as Hamas is better-armed and more confident. The old Egyptian government looked at Hamas as a threat; the forthcoming Egyptian government will look at Hamas as an ally.

But while the media will no doubt attribute this attack to al-Qaida groups — and that might be accurate — this is far from the only problem. Hamas would no doubt cooperate with cross-border attacks on Israel from Egypt, as would the powerful Muslim Brotherhood which might well provide 30 to 40 percent of the members in the next parliament.

One should also remember the old strategy of the PLO in the late 1960s and in the 1970s: create waves of attacks on Israel’s borders, provoking Israeli retaliation and mass enthusiasm for war with Israel; then push Arab states into the war for what is hoped to be a full-scale showdown.

Have no doubt: This is not just an isolated incident but the opening of a new phase. It will get worse. At a minimum, Israel will have to devote a lot more of its limited resources to guarding the Egypt-Israel border. An important question is how decisively will the Egyptian military react and how supportive of the attack will be Egyptian public opinion.

Given U.S. policy, nothing can be expected from Washington except words of dismay. The Egyptian regime will assure everyone that it is committed to the peace treaty and will take strong action. But what will happen when the military hands over power to a parliament with an Islamist/far-left majority in a few months? Anyone want to hand over Israel’s West Bank border to sovereign Palestinian control?

Speaking of which, both Hamas and Fatah sites feature rejoicing at the killing of Israelis. Nobody is critical of the attacks. One Fatah site has such remarks as: “Our Lord is with the heroes”; “[I] call for resistance in the Gaza with rocket fire and suicide bombings and the Glory of God and His Messenger”; “Tribute to the Heroes of each attack and no matter what their affiliation”; “God is great and victory is coming.”

This attack may indeed be only the opening round. Massive Palestinian demonstrations are planned for September either to demand, celebrate, or mourn the UN’s response to a unilateral declaration of independence. The Palestinian Authority leadership says it wants the marches to be peaceful. But in this atmosphere that’s hard to imagine.

Meanwhile, despite assurances from the interim Egyptian government, once a radical majority directs foreign policy after the coming elections — combining leftists, extreme nationalists, and Islamists who are all anti-American and militant toward Israel — Hamas will gain confidence that Egypt is behind the armed struggle.

The better-case scenario is that Egypt restricts itself to letting arms, money, and volunteers cross into Gaza. The medium-case scenario is if Egypt’s government doesn’t do a very good job of stopping cross-border attacks and other provocations by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist groups in Egypt. The worst-case scenario is if Egypt actively joins Hamas.

If you read in the mass media that Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood are good guys fighting against the “Salafist” terrorists from al-Qaeda, I give you permission to snort derisively and cancel your subscriptions.

Oh, and here’s my favorite media coverage example from the Daily Beast, part of Newsweek:

“Israel has stuck back after a series of attacks that left at least seven dead and 25 injured. Do you support Israel’s right to retaliate — or does that simply lead to more instability in the region?”

What do you say? Right, terrorists have the right to attack Israel and murder people but Israel has no right to retaliate because that causes more instability? Well, yes, I’m sure a lot of “highly educated” people think that way.

The only defenses to the increasingly worse scenarios are: the Egyptian military’s hope to continue receiving U.S. aid; the army’s fear that it would lose a war; a demagogic but pragmatic president in the person of Amr Mousa; and centrist forces that want to pursue economic development and higher living standards rather than foreign adventures. Israel will now have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars — that otherwise could have gone for new housing — to build a border fence along a border of roughly 125 miles (the current fence is only 20 percent completed).

There is something to that combination of factors but it is not quite enough to make one feel things will remain calm. For example, the two best-known “reformist” leaders — Ayman Nour and Muhammad ElBaradei, who are both running for president — have called for revising the treaty in Egypt’s favor. Some officers have radical nationalist and Islamist sympathies. And pragmatism is often trumped by demagoguery and foreign adventures in the Arabic-speaking world. Indeed, with Egypt headed for a major economic crisis within the next two years, such trends seem almost inevitable.

Here is some background material on events in Egypt and Sinai:

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: arabspring; clintonintifada; dncvsisrael; egypt; egyptcrisis; gaza; israel; obamaintifada
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Excellent statesmanship going on thanks to the capable and insightful Secretary of State Mrs. Clinton.
1 posted on 08/19/2011 4:24:46 AM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

Sinced they’re goign to the UN next month to try and get a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, why are they starting up these terrorists attacks a month before? Far better to wait, adopt their usual “innocent victim” persona...they already have most of the world agreeing with why this, and NOW?

2 posted on 08/19/2011 4:30:59 AM PDT by ken5050 (Should Christie RUN in 2012? NO! But he should WALK 3 miles every day..)
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To: All

Maybe this isn’t a terrorist attack at all.

They were wearing Egyptian Army uniforms and attacking without the interference of the Egyptian Army. How about this being a case of the Nation of Egypt declaring war on Israel and then attacking it? What else do you call it? An accident?

This reminds me of the Mumbai attacks where Pakistan blatantly attacks India and then…well…nothing happens. I think Pearl Harbor just happened and nobody noticed.

The Israelis took back their land in 1967 when attacked from all sides by the Arabs. Israel needs secure borders. It has to build fences on the Sinai side and fences on the Jordanian side, fences on the Lebanon side. Israel must protect its people from the murderers and terrorists who know no bounds of decency.

Egypt cannot feed its people. It cannot borrow enough money to import food, and has no source of earnings. It has allowed various Islamist groups to scare off the remaining tourists, and realistically will have nothing but starvation for the next ten years or so. It has huge masses of ill educated young men who want a better life and have no prospect in what amounts to a failed state and a failed people.

So expect open War sooner or later with Israel. No one in the ME fears Israel, all think that the nation can be destroyed, not just beaten. Israel lost fairly big against Hezbollah in Lebanon, and that woke up its enemies. Obama and Dems would welcome Israel’s destruction, most of the Democratic Party is entirely hostile to Israel (Blacks, Hispanics, Leftists, Activists, and so on). Egypt will gamble it can win, fairly decisively, by mass attacks against what they view as a weak, divided, and without a protector (America) Israel.

3 posted on 08/19/2011 4:31:21 AM PDT by IbJensen (God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made politicians.)
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To: IbJensen

Israel currently has one of its most hawkish Prime Ministers, b ut so far the response has been the typical “measured” air strikes. Gaza needs to be occupied and every single Palestinian sent into the Gaza desert for the Egyptians to deal with. These tepid responses to acts of war are just perpetuating the problem.

4 posted on 08/19/2011 4:31:38 AM PDT by littleharbour
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To: IbJensen

How many FReepers called this?

5 posted on 08/19/2011 4:34:14 AM PDT by numberonepal (Palin/Cain 2012)
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To: IbJensen
very disturbing but completely predictable outcome of our naive, inept, anti-American, anti Semitic, or muslim-infitrated administration's middle east policy of encouraging and supporting radical islamists as “revolutionaries”

God Bless that innocent Israeli family with 2 children caught in this horror that can be laid at the feet of obama himself

“Operation Gunwalker” gone international

6 posted on 08/19/2011 4:35:00 AM PDT by silverleaf (The super rich do not pay taxes, they collect taxes.)
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To: ken5050

This is radical islamist muscle moving in to show who will control a “palestinian state” when and if it is established

eventually even hamas may even look reasonable compared to these guys

7 posted on 08/19/2011 4:36:51 AM PDT by silverleaf (The super rich do not pay taxes, they collect taxes.)
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To: IbJensen

I have been warning for sometime any conflict now will escalate into a few cities being incinerated in the mid east...Tehran and Cairo could be at the top of the list, if the US continues its ridicules policy of cutting Israel off at the knees. His excellency currently located in Highanus Port better get a grip on this and get his head out of his backside before this goes any farther or he will be responsible for what could quickly escalate into a world wide conflict which no one will “win”. Not only has der leader successfully killed the US economy, financial system and the morale of the military, he is on a path to destroy the entire planet. I wonder if that will qualify him for another peace prize as a unpopulated planet would definitely be peaceful.

8 posted on 08/19/2011 4:40:07 AM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: IbJensen
“Words of dismay” by the US government would be nothing but Obama engaging in taquiyya. This is just the next stage in the creation of the greater caliphate promoted by Obama’s toppling of Mubarak, his attack on Libya and his lack of support for the governments of Yemen and Bahrain.
9 posted on 08/19/2011 4:43:45 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: IbJensen
War has always served to distract and to channel the anger of the dispossessed away from their own despots- and as a nationalist unifier when there is no other “there”, there

Meanwhile a truly disturbing woman, Samantha Powers (uber radical wife of the uber radical ideological nutjob Cass Sunstein) flies under the radar, at the right hand of the INEPT Hillary Clinton (YES. Sorry Puma's but HILLARY CLINTON IS INEPT!!!), and the INEPT Susan Rice, and lays the groundwork for establishing a UN super committee to organize a response against Israel for “genocide”

Watch for it

10 posted on 08/19/2011 4:45:32 AM PDT by silverleaf (The super rich do not pay taxes, they collect taxes.)
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To: ken5050

The terrorist attacks are designed to force Isreal to defend themselves. In a month when the United nutjobs are meeting, Isreal will be portrayed as the violent oppressive ones. Never mind that they are defending themselves.
The media will play their predictable role.

The terrorists know very well how to use the terror friendly media.

11 posted on 08/19/2011 4:54:19 AM PDT by Texas resident (Hunkered Down)
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To: Mouton
His excellency currently located in Highanus Port better get a grip on this and get his head out of his backside before this goes any farther or he will be responsible for what could quickly escalate into a world wide conflict which no one will “win”.

Before this goes any farther? Hell, this is what he WANTS. Community organizing writ large = global Marxism (now fortified with 30% more radical Islam).

12 posted on 08/19/2011 4:56:54 AM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: IbJensen

I can see hussein passing out the candy now.

13 posted on 08/19/2011 4:58:38 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: Texas resident

I suspect you’re correct..which means that we can expect many more attacks....

14 posted on 08/19/2011 5:00:05 AM PDT by ken5050 (Should Christie RUN in 2012? NO! But he should WALK 3 miles every day..)
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To: Charles Martel

I guess the adage he would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven is applicable here. He has let the genie out of the bottle and is in no hurry to get it back in without regard to what may be the end result.

15 posted on 08/19/2011 5:02:23 AM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: silverleaf
Spot on, look at this timing: Samantha Power, Obama's anti-genocide advisor, unveils new "Atrocities Prevention Board"
16 posted on 08/19/2011 5:02:23 AM PDT by zzeeman ("We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.")
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To: numberonepal

“How many FReepers called this?”

I think the majority knows where hussein wants to take this. If Israel fights back with an “unmeasured” response, hussein will jump right in to aid his muzzie brothers. Heck, he’s doing it right now by financing muzzie “springs” all over the ME.

17 posted on 08/19/2011 5:03:34 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: IbJensen

I haven’t seen any evidence of deliberate foreign policy “strategy” from Hillary. All it seems to be is reacting to events and then trying to spin it after the fact. Why should anyone be surprised? Even some FReepers have suggested she’d be a better President than Obama. Maybe, but only because she’d look to Hubby Bill for advice—he would probably call the shots from behind the scenes. By herself, Hillary is an empty pants suit.

18 posted on 08/19/2011 5:04:19 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.


19 posted on 08/19/2011 5:07:45 AM PDT by SJackson (Normal people don't sit cross-legged on the floor and bang on drums, WI State Sen Glenn Grothman (R))
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To: IbJensen; rabscuttle385
...and then there was this not so long ago:

“The Egyptians helped us in the fight against al Qaeda,” he said. “This revolution is a direct repudiation of al Qaeda, who believe that the only way you bring about change is through violence.” - John McCain on the Egyptian uprising. Anyone remember McCain and Lieberman's lovefest stroll thru Tahrir Square wrapped in the Egyptian flag back in February?

20 posted on 08/19/2011 5:16:42 AM PDT by TADSLOS (Free Republic- Still AAA++ rated)
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