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Egypt, wary of influx of Gaza refugees into Sinai, rallies behind Palestinians

Egyptian officials are racing against time to stop the escalating war between Israel and Hamas, while Cairo is concerned that the escalation may extend to its borders with Gaza.
Smoke billows during an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on October 11, 2023

CAIRO — As Egyptians barely finished celebrating the 50th anniversary of their surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 6, 1973 — also known as the Yom Kippur War — Hamas militants were in the midst of their own sudden attack on southern Israeli towns. In the course of one morning, the militants took more than 100 hostages and fired more than 3,000 rockets toward the Jewish state.

By the time of this writing, more than 1,300 Israelis have been killed in the attack and more than 1,500 Palestinians in the Israeli response to Hamas. 

All across social media, everyday Egyptian citizens, as well as Egyptian and Israeli politicians and political experts, compared the 1973 attack and the latest attack and the failure of Israeli intelligence and security forces to anticipate either of them.

“It's a scandal for Israeli intelligence agencies, even for the US [intelligence] agency,” retired Egyptian army officer Maj. Gen. Samir Farag told Al-Monitor.

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