Analysis: Egypt, Hamas, ISIS and Israel after the latest rocket attack

What is really important for Israel is the Egyptian military's struggle against Islamic State in the Sinai.

July 6, 2015 12:04
2 minute read.

Militants in Egypt's Sinai peninsula fired rockets into southern Israel (July 3)

Militants in Egypt's Sinai peninsula fired rockets into southern Israel (July 3)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


For a few hours last week, after the rockets landed in Israel, there was uncertainty from where they were fired. 

At first it was thought the projectiles came from the southern Gaza Strip, but later it was reported that the Islamic State's Egyptian affiliate in the Sinai claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Hamas denied that the rockets were fired from Gaza. 

Nonetheless, it's conceivable that the group that fired the rockets on Friday was a rebellious Salafist organization in Gaza, that does not recognize Hamas's authority and wants to drive a wedge between it and Israel. What this would mean is that despite Egyptian efforts to control them, the Sinai-Gaza smuggling tunnels are still operational. 

In any case, Israel needs to be concerned about the latest rocket fire, but the incident does not mark a dramatic turn of events. In the past, formerly al-Qaida affiliated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, that recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and now calls itself Sinai Province, fired rockets on the Negev and Eilat.

Members of the Sinai Province group also succeeded in infiltrating Israeli territory more than three years ago when they engaged IDF soldiers and attacked Israeli motorists on Highway 12 that runs between Eilat and Mitzpe Ramon. That attack was carried for Hamas that wanted to open another front against Israel. 

But the situation has changed since that attack.

Hamas, and in particular its political leadership, has no interest in cooperating with Islamic State, which would lead to a deterioration in its relations with Egypt. A possibility remains alive that Hamas' military leadership could decide to cooperate with Islamic State because of internal tensions with the political leaders.

Lately, there are signs of warming relations between Egypt and Hamas, including intelligence sharing with regard to Islamic State. 

What is really important for Israel is the Egyptian military's struggle against Islamic State in the Sinai, a struggle that will only intensify after Wednesday's attack in which the army suffered heavy losses. But alongside its determination, the Egyptian Army seems lacking in its intelligence and operational capabilities. 

The IDF and the Israel Security Agency on the other hand have extensive intelligence knowledge of the Sinai and a few years ago created a unit for this purpose. It can be assumed that in its efforts to secure the Sinai border, Israel is sharing intelligence with the Sisi regime in Cairo.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Hassan Rouhani
September 25, 2018
Rouhani slams Trump as an "authoritarian" with "Nazi disposition"