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MIDEAST > Mossad blamed for raid

CAIRO / GAZA CITY

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and a top Ismail Haniya official blame Israel’s intelligence agency for orchestrating a deadly Sinai attack. Israel denies the allegations by saying it was in no way involved in the attacts

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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (C) and Egyptian Defense Minister and Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi (L) visit a checkpoint and soldiers in al-Arish. AFP photo

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (C) and Egyptian Defense Minister and Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi (L) visit a checkpoint and soldiers in al-Arish. AFP photo

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas have accused Israel of directing a deadly attack in which 16 policemen were killed in Sinai last weekend. Israel has responded swiftly to the allegations, dismissing them as “nonsense.”

A statement from the Brotherhood said Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was trying to abort the Egyptian uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year and that it was “imperative to review clauses” of the agreement between Egypt and Israel.

“This crime may well be the work of Israel’s Mossad, which has sought to abort the revolution ever since its launch, and which issued instructions to Israeli citizens in Sinai to leave immediately, just days ago. It is clearly noticeable that every time a warning like this is issued, a terrorist incident takes place in Sinai,” the statement on the Brotherhood’s official website said. A largely demilitarized Sinai is the keystone of the historic 1979 peace deal between the two countries. But for the past year there has been growing lawlessness in the vast desert expanse, as Bedouin bandits, jihadists and Palestinian militants from next-door Gaza fill the vacuum, tearing at already frayed relations between Egypt and Israel.

“This attack also draws our attention to the fact that our forces in Sinai lack the personnel and the equipment to protect the region or guard our borders, which makes it imperative to review the terms of our accords with Israel,” the group said.

Pressure to Morsi

Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya has joined the Muslim Brotherhood in accusing Israel of orchestrating the Sinai attack. “Israel is responsible, one way or another, for this attack to embarrass Egypt’s leadership and create new problems at the border in order to ruin efforts to end the [Israeli] siege of the Gaza Strip,” Agence France-Press quoted Haniya as saying. However, the Egyptian army indicated that the attackers may have had the help of Palestinian militants. Hamas officials have condemned the killings, but Morsi may still come under pressure to back down from plans to end Egypt’s cooperation with the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. “No Palestinian wants to kill anybody in Egypt. Any attack against Egypt’s security is also against the security of Palestinians,” Haniya said in a statement issued after an emergency meeting of the Hamas government.

On Aug. 6 Israel dismissed the Muslim Brotherhood’s claims, saying it was in no way involved in the deadly attack in Sinai. “Even the person who says this, when he looks at himself in the mirror, does not believe the nonsense he is uttering,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, Reuters reported. Egypt said 35 gunmen in Bedouin clothing opened fire on border guards before crossing into Israel in an armored vehicle on Aug. 5. Israel said five gunmen were killed on its side of the frontier.

Homes raided

Meanwhile, Egyptian troops and police on raided homes in search of suspects and prepared to close smuggling tunnels to Gaza, security officials said. Witnesses said large trucks loaded with bulldozers headed to Rafah, a town on the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip that sits atop a honeycomb of smuggling tunnels. “There are preparations to close the tunnels,” a security official said. Officials said soldiers and police raided several homes near the north Sinai town of El-Arish in search of known Islamist extremists who might be linked to the attack. The crackdown was underway as the military held a funeral for the soldiers.

August/08/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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american american

8/10/2012 12:12:52 PM

mossad, mit, cia, gru, mi6 are all scum. it's a dirty job.

Danny B Danny

8/10/2012 10:48:33 AM

Frederick Melick: While Mossad made of Scum, the Arabs around Israel are the children and relatives of Mother Teresa. If no Mossad and IDF , 1.5 Billion saints would have eaten us alive. Small sample we can see now in Syria, the well known Arab solidarity, the love and brotherhood which is their way of life. Only the Jews stacked in the middle like a bone in their throat , spoiling the ideal life and the harmony. Only it''s Jew's fault and mossad that causes the Arabs to behave like that.

Frederick Melick

8/10/2012 7:02:52 AM

In my opinion Mossad are a group made up of scum and deceit.yet there activities go unpunished,this is a sad fact.

Danny B Danny

8/9/2012 9:37:52 AM

Safiyah Noor Page: Of course its the Mossad who else? after training sharks to attack tourist at Sharm El Sheikh, again an Israel plot to scare tourist from coming to Sinai, now its the new plot of the Israeli war mongers. only have few questions? after Israel returned Sinai for a peace of paper signed by Egyptian government till the last inch, why should Israel be interested in war again? why a group of tourists been attacked in Ras Burka by Egyptian soldier became a hero in Egypt.

american american

8/8/2012 11:10:50 PM

or maybe egyptians dressed as israelis dressed as bedouins attacked their own troops in order to blame mossad in order to remilitarize the sinai, conquer israel, create a pan arab state, and be the strongest power in the middle east!

Morse Fan

8/8/2012 9:53:56 PM

I doubt PM Erdogan thinks Mossad did this; more likely, he actually knows who did. Anyway, just because a guy thinks out loud doesn't mean the thoughts remain after the words are gone. He has been notably less shrill about Israel lately; he's not rocking that boat either way. Turkish interests as to Egypt are unclear. Turkey is certainly more sophisticated. After all, it doesn't run off to blame bogeyman Mossad every time the PKK bombs something or a trigger happy Syrian shoots at a plane.

Arnold Yesovitch

8/8/2012 8:54:18 PM

Hurriyet is behind the times. Egypt today sent in an assault team into the Sinai. If they really thought it was israel they would not have done this. Ask yourself why would Israel want to antagonize Egypt ? Nothing to gain by doing so. Is it not about time that Israel's foes look at themselves and one another. Just look what is going on in the whole region. Chaos.

Safiyah Noor Page

8/8/2012 7:02:16 PM

What a breath of fresh air-Egyptian authorities actually saying what is obvious-that the Isra'ili government is launching attacks and killing Egyptians disguised as Bedouins. That treaty which the Isra'ili are insisting stay in place without regard to how it is violated should be completely discarded. It is as if elements in Israel want a war. They better take a look at their history and see that when they become tryants in the land they are always removed from power.

Pyotr Ivanovich

8/8/2012 6:50:10 PM

American-American, you have a point there, There are always the problems that arise with Alliances, when one parner attempt to gain the upper hand and reduce the other to a secon class status by not living up to its obligations or reneges on mutual interests as well as deals that are entered into

stella maris

8/8/2012 5:45:11 PM

@ Ariyeh The Egyptians already closed the border and sealed off all the tunnels running between Gaza and Egypt. Hamas is completely isolated, that's why they try so hard to blame it on Israel. The Egyptians, having turned a blind eye on the crossing and tunnels so long (against the advise of their own militairs) had to learn it the hard way now how to handle terrorists. Mursi learned, I wonder if the esteemed PM will learn as well!
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