Egypt plans operation against terror in Sinai

Report says Cairo is planning to "cleanse" area of northern Sinai of militants but would first give them chance to surrender.

By REUTERS
July 12, 2013 20:02
1 minute read.
Egyptian army near El-Arish in the Sinai peninsula, May 21, 2013.

Egyptian army in Sinai 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer)

 
X

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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

An Egyptian security source said on Saturday that five gunmen were killed by the military, the state-owned MENA news agency reported. This follows an announcement by the Egyptian military saying it is planning an imminent offensive in Sinai against hardline Islamist terrorists.

The army’s actions comes after suspected jihadists killed an Egyptian police officer and wounded a second in an attack on a checkpoint in the peninsula on Friday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Terrorists have staged almost daily attacks on security checkpoints in Sinai since the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Arab daily Al-Hayat reported on Friday that the Egyptian military decided to go ahead with a plan of “cleansing” Mount Halal in Sinai, which houses “armed gangs and terrorists.”

Such an operation would include artillery and air power in order “to resolve the battle quickly.”

However, the army would first give the Islamists a chance to surrender.

Meanwhile on Friday, an Egyptian military helicopter briefly crossed into Israeli-controlled airspace over the Gaza Strip. Security sources in Egypt and Israel both described the flyover as a navigational error.



“The helicopter mistakenly crossed into Gazan airspace and immediately returned to Egypt,” the Israeli security source said. Witnesses in Gaza said it stayed on their side of the border for about 10 minutes before returning.

Separately, Egyptian authorities arrested three Palestinian gunmen on Friday during “an attempt to attack vital sites in Sinai,” Egyptian state media reported.

Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported on Friday that Sudan thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons and ammunition into Egypt.

Another step reportedly taken by the Egyptian army to quell terrorist attacks in the peninsula was closing the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip “indefinitely,” according to an official source talking to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, denies Egyptian accusations that it has an armed presence in Sinai.

It remains unclear when such an offensive will take place, as the military is heavily focused on maintaining order in the streets of Cairo, where its tanks are deployed, following Morsi’s overthrow.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

Related Content

August 21, 2018
Iran unveils fourth-generation fighter jet

By ANNA AHRONHEIM