Egyptian general says entering Gaza is a political decision

Source: Egyptian Army is specifically targeting the extremist groups in Gaza who are regarded as hostile.

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October 4, 2013 00:25
2 minute read.
Egyptian soldiers in Rafah in the Sinai Peninsula

Egyptian soldiers in Sinai 370. (photo credit: reuters)

Maj.-Gen. Ahmed Wasfy, the commander of the second field army in Sinai said that crossing the border into Gaza is a “political decision” as a Palestinian news outlet claimed that Cairo is preparing for a possible attack on the Strip.

According to a report in Egypt’s Al-Shorouk on Thursday, Wasfy warned the jihadists in Sinai that the army has lost its patience. He also warned jihadists in Gaza, stating that the army knows that they are in contact with elements in Sinai.

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When asked why his forces do not pursue jihadists into Gaza, he responded that it is a “political decision.”

Wasfy said the terrorists are “a small cancerous tumor, which will be removed soon and Sinai will be declared free from terrorism.”

He added that the army will maintain the sacred relationship between the people of Sinai and try not to affect them during the war on the terrorists.

Egypt has plans to attack Gaza if the aggression on Egyptian troops in Sinai intensifies, Egyptian security officials said Wednesday, according to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.

Officials said that Egyptian aircraft have been flying over Gaza to gather intelligence on targets in Rafah and Khan Yunis.

An attack could involve air strikes targeting vehicles that aid in smuggling across the border as well as destroying more tunnels said the sources who said that “all options are open.”

The Egyptian sources said that some jihadist groups such as Ansar al- Sunna and Ansar Bayt al- Maqdis were behind some of the attacks in Sinai and that Hamas was ultimately responsible for violence emanating from the Strip.

“The Egyptian army does not believe the population of Gaza is involved in the violence in Sinai, but certain factions strongly support Sinai groups. The tunnels play a major role in the communication between both sides,” a senior Egyptian official told Ma’an.

Military operations continue in Sinai and the army destroyed 11 terrorist hideouts there, according to the Egyptian State Information Service.

Troops stormed al-Toma, al-Moqataaa and al- Mahdeya villages south of Sheikh Zuwayed, destroying the hideouts, which were being used to stage attacks.

Crackdowns were continuing in the area of Arish and two tunnels to Gaza were destroyed, according to the report.

Egyptian security forces have arrested 150 terrorists in Sinai since July 3 and confiscated 1,000 pieces of military uniforms, according to a report Thursday in the Egyptian daily Al-Masry al- Youm.


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