Turmoil in Egypt’s lawless Northern Sinai Peninsula continues to increase. To recount, late last year Islamic militants instigated a shootout in the Northern Sinai near the borders of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai, killing 16 Egyptian soldiers. And early this year, there, militants abducted 7 Egyptian security personnel.
Recently, on August 9 Israel conducted a drone strike into the Northern Sinai, having the apparent approval of the Egyptian military, which resulted in 6 Islamic militants being killed.
On August 11, Egyptian military helicopters fired on Islamic militants near the desert town of Sheik Zuweyid in the Northern Sinai, killing 12 of them.
Yesterday, in retaliation for those 12 killed, Islamic militants ambushed two minibuses transporting 25 off-duty Egyptian policeman in the Northern Sinai near the city of Rafah, which borders the southern end of the Gaza Strip. They got the policemen out of the buses, forced them to lie face down in the sand, and shot them dead. The same day in the city of El Arish–the capital of the Northern Governate of Sinai and 25 miles south of Rafah–Islamic militants killed a senior police officer guarding a bank.
Also yesterday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told the Washington media, “The United States continues to support Egypt’s ongoing efforts against terrorism and growing lawlessness in the Sinai.” She added, “the current situation in Egypt has not improved the situation.”
Indeed. Muslim Brotherhood party leader Mohammed Morsi served two years as Egypt’s first elected president. But the Egyptian people became disenchanted with his obsession to make Egypt more Islamic and his failure to adequately address Egypt’s economic problems. So, a military coup occurred on July 3, and he has been under detention ever since. Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations then mounted. In the past few days, Egyptian police have dispersed these demonstrators, which has resulted in about 1,000 Egyptians being killed.
Therefore, I state in my book, published in 1990, that modern Israel will in the future either forfeit or lose the present Gaza Strip and that it would become the core of a future Palestinian state, thus resulting in a very expanded Gaza Strip. It took a while, but things began to happen as I said. In 2005, Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, effectively turning it over to the Palestinians as their possession. Two years later, a military conflict erupted between Palestinian organizations Hamas and Fatah, with Hamas taking control of the Gaza Strip to the present. Now the far Northern Sinai, especially between Rafah and El Arish and inland, is in turmoil caused mostly by militant Islamic insurgents uniting with militants from the Gaza Strip. Many of the militants say their goal is to oust the Egyptian military from this region and make it into an “Islamic Emirate.” Some Palestinian militants there say they want to unite this region with the Gaza Strip.