Egypt’s Ruling Muslim Brotherhood Blames Israel for Attack in Sinai Peninsula (CNS) CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE) By Patrick Goodenough 08/08/12)
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(CNSNews.com) – The Muslim Brotherhood’s suggestion that Israel’s
Mossad was behind a deadly attack in the Sinai peninsula that left 16
Egyptian border policemen dead is far more significant than past anti-
Israel conspiracy theories, since the Islamist group now dominates
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who formally resigned from the
Brotherhood after being elected in June, has not himself blamed
Israel for the attack – but he has neither publicly rejected the
claim nor reprimanded his Islamist associates for making it.
Official investigations are continuing into Sunday’s incident, in
which some 35 gunmen opened fire on the border guards, commandeered
two vehicles and tried to force their way across the Egyptian border
The Israeli military said its forces killed at least seven of the
group, believed to be Palestinian jihadists from the adjacent Gaza
Strip – which is ruled by Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim
After the attack, the Egyptian government ordered the immediate
closure of the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza.
A statement by Egypt’s armed forces called the incident a “terrorist
attack” and warned against “schemes and plots hatched against Egypt,”
but did not attribute blame.
The Muslim Brotherhood had no such qualms.
“Evidently, this crime may well be the work of Israel’s [intelligence
agency] Mossad, which has sought to abort the revolution ever since
its launch,” it said in a statement released on Monday night.
It said the attackers aimed to create a “major border problem for
Egypt” at a critical time, try to prove the failure of the new
government, disrupt Morsi’s “reform project,” and drive a wedge
between the Egyptian administration and people on one hand, and the
leaders and people of Gaza on the other.
Asked about the Brotherhood statement suggesting the Mossad was to
blame – posted prominently on its official website – State Department
spokesman Patrick Ventrell said, “I can’t speak to its veracity as
something coming from the Muslim Brotherhood. What I can say is,
obviously, President Morsi is saying the right things, and we look to
him as he continues to confront this.”
The Brotherhood also used the opportunity to renew its call for the
terms of the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement to be reviewed. Under
the treaty Israel withdrew from the Sinai – which it had seized
during the 1967 Six Day War – and the peninsula was demilitarized,
although during Egypt’s political turmoil early last year Israel
agreed that Egypt could deploy a limited number of troops there to
“This crime also draws our attention to the fact that our forces in
the 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 Brotherhood statement said.
Morsi’s spokesman, Yasser Ali, said Tuesday evening Egypt would
respect its international treaties and obligations.
Anti-Israeli conspiracy theories are common in the Arab world but
Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs
(GLORIA) Center in Israel, said blaming Israel for the Sinai attack
was a different matter given the new political realities in Egypt.
“This means something quite different when the Brotherhood was just
an opposition group in Egypt. It is now the government,” he said.
“Consider what this means: the organization governing Egypt has
accused Israel of launching an attack on Egyptian soil and killing a
lot of Egyptian soldiers. Isn’t that a just cause for war? That’s not
going to happen but situations like this will arise repeatedly in
future and one day can lead to war.”
According to wire service reports, Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniya
also blamed Israel, saying the Jewish state “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
siege of the Gaza Strip.”
Not all Egyptians were buying into the Brotherhood claims.
Al-Ahram reported that Tuesday’s military funeral for the slain
border guards at a Cairo mosque was marked by angry protests aimed
not at Israel but at Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, accusing of
collaborating with Hamas.
Not surprisingly, Morsi did not attend the funerals – a decision his
spokesman Ali said was made to allow the public to mourn at
the “emotionally charged” event without “obstacles” caused by a
Morsi’s recently-appointed Islamist-leaning prime minister, Hisham
Qandil, did try to attend but was attacked by angry protestors and
Just hours earlier, the Egypt State Information Service had announced
that Morsi would attend and “lead the military and popular funeral of
the innocent martyrs.” (copyright 1998-2012 Cybercast News Service
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