Border attack strains ties between Egypt and Israel
CAIRO - Reuters
Israeli PM Netanyahu (2nd R) and Defense Minister Barak (2nd L) inspect the scene. AP photoEgypt branded gunmen who killed 16 police near the Israeli border in the Sinai as “infidels” yesterday and promised to launch a crackdown following the killings that strained Cairo’s ties with both Israel and Palestine.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he hoped the incident would serve as a “wake-up call” to Egypt, which he has long accused of losing its grip in the desert Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi ordered security forces to take full control of the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula on the frontier and declared three days of national mourning. Morsi said those who committed the “cowardly” attack and those who worked with them would pay dearly. The Egyptian army said yesterday that the gunmen were backed by mortar fire from the Gaza Strip. In Aug. 5’s attack, gunmen in Bedouin attire drove up to a border post and opened fire before crossing into Israel in an armored vehicle, Egyptian officials said.
Hamas officials condemned the killings and said its security forces in the Gaza Strip were on the alert.