Israel and Egypt collaborate to rout out Sinai extremists, says Israeli radio

Israeli army radio on Thursday claimed Egypt and Israel are covertly collaborating to eliminate leaders of the Gazan Army of Islam militant group in order to thwart attacks against Israeli tourist targets in Sinai.

The broadcast, according to the "Voice of Israel" radio website, said Israel informed Egyptian intelligence weeks ago that two militants entered Sinai from the Gaza strip in preparation for the stated attacks. The tip prompted Egyptian security forces, the broadcast continued, to pursue the Army of Islam members. Dozens of Palestinians were subsequently detained in the north Sinai towns of Rafah and Arish.

The broadcast also connected the pursuit to the assassination of two Army of Islam members, Mohamed Namnam and Mohamed Yasin, allegedly carried out by the Egyptian Air Force.

"The activities of some Palestinian organizations, whether in Gaza or Sinai, has become a threat to Egyptian national security," the Israeli military radio quoted Egyptian sources as saying.

A senior Israeli intelligence official on Sunday echoed, albeit vaguely, the suggestions of collaboration. Major General Murad Mohamed Mawafi, governor of northern Sinai, however, denied reports that a terrorist cell had been uncovered and more than 20 people arrested in Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid in connection with extremist operations.

Mohamed Mawafi on Saturday also dismissed rumors that the Egyptian intelligence agency SSI stepped up efforts to dismantle a second terrorist cell comprised of 6 Egyptians from Matrouh Governorate. The Egyptians reportedly fled to north Sinai, but were arrested by state security because of illegal religious and political activities.

The material published "does not have any basis in facts," Mohamed Mawafi said, adding that the citizens of Sinai are safe. Mohamed Mawafi also pledged to take the necessary steps to respond to the false reports.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Related Articles

Back to top button