Egyptian soldier in Sinai 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As Egypt grapples with mass unrest and political upheaval, security cooperation
between the IDF and the Egyptian military – on a tactical level – remains very
Not only does the Egyptian army seek to tackle radical jihadi
terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, it has also cracked down on Gazan smuggling
tunnels linking the Strip to the Sinai Peninsula, of which they have flooded 40
tunnels with sewer water in recent days.
The Egyptian army isn’t taking
these steps as a favor to Israel. Rather, it faces a common threat in the form
of radical armed Islamic elements – based in Gaza and Sinai – who would like to
launch attacks on targets in Egypt. The same elements are keen on attacking
The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty remains a strategic asset
for both countries, but the growing number of al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists in
Sinai are seeking to create a provocation aimed at undermining the
These elements are made up mostly of local, radicalized Beduin,
though residents of Egypt proper and foreign jihadists have joined as well. A
disturbing wave of radicalization is sweeping over sections of the Sinai Beduin
Mosques are mushrooming across the peninsula’s desert
The radical groups include groups like the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes,
which claimed responsibility over the weekend
for Thursday’s double rocket
attack on Eilat.
The rockets missed their targets, landing in open areas
and failing to cause injuries or damages. Some 10 projectiles have been fired on the Red Sea resort city from Sinai over recent
The IDF is fully switched on to the growing threat from the Sinai
Peninsula, and is investing heavily to deal with this developing
Efforts include an attempt to improve intelligence gathering
capabilities, making it less likely that any future attack will take security
forces by surprise.