It seems that with no traces of security in Sinai, every day there will be shooting and killing for victims either from the Egyptian army, who carried out military operation for more than a month aimed to root out insurgents, or from the Bedouins and insurgents who have taken Sinai base as a base for their hostilities.
Targeting the Israeli border has been repeated several times and in most attacks there have been a number of dead and wounded soldiers from the Israeli army.
Friday, Israeli Yent news reported that according to Israeli army, three gunmen opened fire on an Israeli patrol in the Mount Sagi area on the Israel-Egypt border.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said that three terrorists approached the Israel-Egypt border. The terrorists were equipped with explosive belts and assault rifles. The three opened fire on Artillery Corps soldiers who were scouring the area for African infiltrators. The large explosive device the terrorists were carrying detonated. They were also carrying a rocket-propelled grenade, the army said.
Later, Israeli army spokeswoman Avital Leibovich told reporters that an Israeli soldier was killed and another two soldiers were moderately injured when terrorists in Sinai Peninsula opened fire on an Israeli army patrol in the Mount Sagi area on the Israel-Egypt border.
On his part, an Egyptian security source said one of the gunmen died when a bomb he was carrying detonated and the other two were killed in a gunbattle with Israeli forces, adding that the nationalities of the gunmen were not immediately clear.
However, according to the Israeli army, gunmen equipped with explosive belts opened fire on soldiers at the border between Israel and the Egyptian Sinai desert. The troops, who were watching a group of workers on a fence, returned fire and killed three gunmen.
Thursday, the Egyptian army sent military reinforcements to Sinai, security sources said, after authorities raised the alert level in the wake of the killing of a militant leader.
Around 50 tanks and armored vehicles supported by attack helicopters were deployed to the eastern bank of the Suez canal for regular training and to the northern Sinai city El-Arish for anti-terror operations, according to security sources.
A security officer said that Egyptian intelligence warned that unprecedented attacks were planned by jihadist groups against security headquarters in north Sinai over the next 48 hours.
Earlier this week, three Egyptian security officers were wounded in another sudden attack by jihadists on Egyptian government headquarters in northern Sinai.
Meanwhile, Al-Ahram paper reported that a powerful bomb explosion has targeted a camp of the country’s Central Security Forces in El-Arish, Northern Sinai, in which one security officer sustained injuries.
Egyptian security had information about an expected terrorist operation - of course this information had been transfered to Israel so as to take precaution and this is what usually has happened since 1979.
When the Egyptian army started the security operation last August, there were Israeli objections on the size and arming of the Egyptian forces. Therefore, and in order to reassure the Israelis, tanks were withdrawn outside the Sinai border and the Egyptian army continued the operation slowly. The general expectation is that even 1/10 of Sinai area would not be controlled, the reason that the militants in Sinai are stronger than the army, therefore Israel and Egypt should expect more attacks.
Israel will soon finish a buffer zone area of 300 kilometers and, of course, this area will not solve the security problems of the region because, according to my information, most of the militants in Sinai are Salafi jihadis who have medium-range missiles and possibly a lot of short-term missiles. For this, Israel will discover that the buffer zone was a waste of money after the militants resume the firing rockets at Eilat.
An important question remains, what benefit is obtained by having multinational forces in Sinai? Are these forces doing any duty on the ground or are they merely for monitoring purposes?
I think, as do many others, that there were advantages to the popular revolt that toppled the Mubarak regime, but it also had its disadvantage which is the lack of security in Sinai.