Envoy Oren retracts tweet tying Iran, Sinai attack
Ambassador to US deletes quote linking Iran to border attack; defense officials blame 'global jihad groups' unconnected to Iran.
US envoy Michael Oren Photo: REUTERS
Early Monday morning, Israel’s ambassador to the United States Michael Oren
tweeted the following: “Iranian backed terrorists again struck at our Southern
border today killing 15 Egyptian guards and attempting to massacre Israeli
civilians Terrorists also shelled Israeli farms and towns along the
By the afternoon though, Oren took the tweet off his Twitter
feed. Why? No explanation was given although senior IDF officers said later in
the day that Iran did not play a role in the attack and was not a known
supporter of the known perpetrators.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak made
this clear in his briefing to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee when he said that the attack was carried out by a group somehow
affiliated with al-Qaida.
According to intelligence obtained by the IDF,
the attackers were global jihad-affiliated operatives – mostly Beduin residents
of the Sinai Peninsula.
What connects them, Israeli intelligence
believes, is a shared Salafi ideology. The source of funding for the groups
operating in the Sinai is is unclear but is understood to not come from Iran or
By Monday evening, Oren tweeted again, this time accusing
“global jihad, a group closely affiliated with al-Qaida.”
prompted Oren to immediately tweet that Iran was involved? Also unclear although
it might just be the general atmosphere in the Israeli government these
Another example of how Iran finds its way into Israel’s other
fronts even when it is not connected was provided later in the day by Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who toured the scene of the attack and declared:
“Israel can only rely on itself… and will continue to do so,” a statement he has
made a number of times in recent weeks in reference to his pending decision on a
possible strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.