Sinai Attack Unleashes Political Blame Game

Article Summary
Following the attack on a border outpost in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian political parties are trading blame and conspiracies about who knew what, and when. Hisham Omar writes that some believe Israel formulated the attack to discredit Egypt.

Activists from Sinai criticized what they considered “failure” of the security forces to perform their role in the peninsula. “Where are the intelligence services and why don’t they uncover what happened?” they asked.

Sinai’s most prominent poet, Masaad Abu Fajer told Al-Masry Al-Youm that “the reason behind the current crisis we are going through is that we live in a time of illusion. When Israel made statements about anticipated criminal operations in northern Sinai, we deemed them to be ‘delusional words.’ We believed that Israel was trying to target our tourism.”

He added that the solution emanates from “sitting with each other to determine what we want for our Egypt. Do we want Cairo to become the capital of hatred and destruction, or do we want it to be the capital of diversity and civilization?”

“The guilty person is asking to be caught,” with this [colloquial] saying, Secretary-General of al-Karama Party [the Dignity Party] in northern Sinai, Khaled Arafat, referred to Israel’s warnings to its nationals just before the recent attack in Rafah. Sinai has become the battlefield between intelligence services and political movements. Arafat reprimanded the security authorities, asking them “Where have you been? How could you allow the enemies of the nation to wander in our land, shedding our blood without any restraint?”

He said to Al-Masry Al-Youm “we have long warned against the proliferation of arms and unknown armed groups in the Sinai. There is no security whatsoever in the province as a whole. Unfortunately, people begin to feel unsafe and therefore they go buy arms to defend themselves. Violence has become present in the smallest debates or everyday altercations.”

Arafat stressed the need for the Egyptian authorities to take advantage of the recent attack to demand the amendment of the Camp David Accords in order to increase Egypt’s forces so that it can secure the border and the safety of its military personnel.

For his part, activist Saed Atik, one of the young rebels of the January 25 revolution, said: “there is obvious complicity on the side of the Egyptian security services. They were either aware of the imminent occurrence of the attack or they downplayed Israel’s warnings to its nationals. Either way, this was aimed at creating a case of “mayhem” in the peninsula to impede the peaceful transition of power in Egypt, and to thwart all development processes within the Sinai territory.”

Atik added that it is well known that many Islamic movements have largely been infiltrated by [foreign] security forces. Their actions are clear evidence. These movements serve the Zionist intelligence services’ agendas. The last attack was further proof of that.

In a related development, other activists accused the Tawhid and Jihad Group of being involved in the attack. They confirmed that the group’s leader, Hisham Saidani, who was released from a “Hamas” prison two days ago, is linked to the criminal attack.

According to political activist Hossam Marzuka, the attack was aimed at shutting down the crossings and causing embarrassment to the governments of Cairo and Hamas. He also confirmed that the Tawhid and Jihad Group has adopted the Takfir practice [when a Muslim declares another Muslim a Kafir, or unbeliever] of the “Muslim Brotherhood,” and accused the governments of Hamas and Cairo of “making peace with Kuffar” [unbelievers].

“Abu Marzuka” said that a plot is underway to separate the Sinai from the nation, through the internationalization of the matter. He also stressed that the goal behind the recent events is to pressure Egypt to shut the crossing and destroy the tunnels to Israel’s advantage.

According to Sinai activist Sheik Ibrahim al-Olyan, the Takfiri organized groups are attempting to “drive the police officers away” from Sinai in order to clear the region.

“The attack aimed at creating tension inside Egypt, diminishing the presidency, and fomenting strife between residents of the Sinai and the armed forces,” he said.

Found in: sinai, rafah, israel, egypt

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