IDF: Egyptian cyber warfare in Sinai causing cell disruptions in south Israel

The IDF says it is "not surprised" by the electronic warfare component of the military operation.

March 7, 2018 12:51
1 minute read.
Sinai terrorism

An Egyptian military vehicle is seen on the highway in northern Sinai, Egypt, May 25, 2015.. (photo credit: ASMAA WAGUIH / REUTERS)

Cellular blackouts across southern Israel are due to electronic warfare being waged by the Egyptian Army against Islamic State terrorists in northern Sinai, the IDF confirmed on Wednesday.

According to the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit, the disruptions, which have lasted for some two weeks will likely continue, the defense establishment “is dealing with the issue with their Egyptian counterparts. We have a dialogue with them on the issue.”

An IDF Spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that they “are not surprised” by the electronic warfare component of the large-scale operation but stressed that the disruptions caused by the Egyptians “is happening on Egyptian soil.”

Nevertheless, the military has been coordinating with the Egyptian military on the issue.

In an interview with Army Radio’s Good Morning Israel, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said that “in the past few days, we’ve been discussing ways to solve the issue.”

Kara said that “after the very important meeting across the border yesterday, we’ve managed to reach agreements that will end the disruptions. I suggest waiting two or three days.”

A report by Israel’s Channel 10 quoted security officials as saying that the Egyptians have promised to resolve the issue within 24 hours.

In early February, the Egyptian military launched a major campaign against “terrorist and criminal elements and organizations” across the country, focusing on northern and central Sinai region where Islamic State terrorists have waged a deadly insurgency against Cairo.

Meanwhile, the Eshkol Regional Council is threatening to sue the cellular networks as disruptions continued into a second week, calling them “life-threatening.”

The letter of warning to the cellphone networks from the legal office of the Eshkol Regional Council was written on behalf of the residents of the area.

Council head Gadi Yarkoni said that the “lack of response and failure to deal with the malfunction so far by the cellular companies and the Communications Ministry shows scorn for the residents of the Gaza vicinity who are carrying on their daily routine under constant security threat.”

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