Israel And Egypt Form Secret Alliance To Wipe Out Egyptian Jihadists

Israel has been conducting bombing raids on jihadists within Egypt's borders since at least late 2015 as part of a secret two-year alliance. For more than two years, unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and jets have carried out a covert air campaign, conducting more than 100 airstrikes inside Egypt, frequently more than once a week — and all with the approval of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the NYT reported on Sunday.

Once enemies in three wars, and having struggled to reach peace agreements for decades, Egypt and Israel are now (not so) secret allies against a common foe.

a
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at a conference in December (Getty)

In late 2015, jihadists in Egypt's Northern Sinai moved in, killing hundreds of soldiers and police officers and briefly seizing a major town - setting up armed checkpoints as they established control over the area. On October 31, 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's Sinai branch, formerly known as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, brought down a Russian passenger flight with an explosive device - killing all 224 people aboard.

a
Russian passenger jet downed by Egyptian jihadists 

With Egypt seemingly unable to stop the jihadists, Israel - alarmed by the threat just over the border, began taking action - sending a barrage of airstrikes into the neighboring Arab country whose officials and media continued to vilify the Jewish state in public. 

In order to conceal their involvement, Israel's drones, jets and helicopters have covered up their markings. "Some fly circuitous routes to create the impression that they are based in the Egyptian mainland," according to American officials briefed on the operations.

a

It is unclear whether any Israeli troops have actually set foot inside Egyptian borders.

Despite efforts by both Israel and Egypt to hide the origin of the strikes and censor public reports, Egypt and Israel's two-year alliance has become somewhat of an open secret in intelligence circles: 

Inside the American government, the strikes are widely known enough that diplomats and intelligence officials have discussed them in closed briefings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers in open committee hearings have alluded approvingly to the surprisingly close Egyptian and Israeli cooperation in the North Sinai.

In a telephone interview, Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declined to discuss specifics of Israel’s military actions in Egypt, but said Israel was not acting “out of goodness to a neighbor.”

“Israel does not want the bad stuff that is happening in the Egyptian Sinai to get into Israel,” he said, adding that the Egyptian effort to hide Israel’s role from its citizens “is not a new phenomenon.” -NYT

Moreover, despite Israeli military censors preventing reports of the strikes from becoming public, certain news outlets circumvented the censorship by citing a 2016 Bloomberg report in which a former Israeli official admitted to drone strikes inside of Egypt. 

The two-year alliance between the two countries is thought to have begun after Egypt's relatively new president Mohamed Morsi - a leader within the Muslim Brotherhood who came to power after the Arab Spring revolt, was outed in a military takeover by el-Sisi - then defense minister. 

Israel welcomed the change in government, urging Washington to accept it. 

And Egypt needed the help; following Mr. Sisi's takeover, Islamist militants who had established a refuge in the North Sinai region between the Suez Canal and the Israeli border began a wave of deadly assaults against Egyptian security forces. 

A few weeks after Mr. Sisi took power, in August 2013, two mysterious explosions killed five suspected militants in a district of the North Sinai not far from the Israeli border. The Associated Press reported that unnamed Egyptian officials had said Israeli drones fired missiles that killed the militants, possibly because of Egyptian warnings of a planned cross-border attack on an Israeli airport. (Israel had closed the airport the previous day.)

At the time, both Israel and Egypt vehemently denied the reports - however after the Russian charter jet was brought down in October of 2015, Israel began its wave of airstrikes, killing a long list of militant leaders according to an American official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss classified operations. 

After Israel wiped out much of the jihadist leadership in the region, less ambitious successors stepped in. No longer employing armed checkpoints, closing roads or claiming territory - the group began targeting "softer" targets like Christians in Sinai and Muslims they considered heretics. As an example, the militant group killed over 300 worshippers at a Sufi Mosque in North Sinai. 

a
Sufi Mosque in North Sinai, 311 worshippers killed by militants in Nov. 2017

Since Israel has effectively been keeping jihadists at bay in a mutually beneficial arrangement, some American supporters of Israel have been complaining that given Egypt's reliance on the Israeli military, "Egyptian officials, diplomats and state-controlled news media should stop publicly denouncing the Jewish state." 

“You speak with Sisi and he talks about security cooperation with Israel, and you speak with Israelis and they talk about security cooperation with Egypt, but then this duplicitous game continues,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee. “It is confusing to me.”

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has also pointedly reminded American diplomats of the Israeli military role in Sinai. In February 2016, for example, Secretary of State John Kerry convened a secret summit in Aqaba, Jordan, with Mr. Sisi, King Abdullah of Jordan and Mr. Netanyahu, according to three American officials involved in the talks or briefed about them.

Mr. Kerry proposed a regional agreement in which Egypt and Jordan would guarantee Israel’s security as part of a deal for a Palestinian state. -NYT

Netanyahu scoffed at the idea - arguing that if Egypt was unable to control the ground within its own borders, it was hardly in a position to guarantee Israel's safety. 

Comments

Mementoil This is it Mon, 02/05/2018 - 01:15 Permalink

For years I have been hearing ridiculous claims, as though Israel is supporting ISIS.
Well, if anyone hasn't heard, those terrorists in the Sinai peninsula belong to ISIS, and the fact that Israel is bombing the bejesus out of them should put those allegations to rest.

On second thought who am I kidding? Israel bashers are not prone to reason...

In reply to by This is it

ACP stizazz Mon, 02/05/2018 - 01:54 Permalink

Do what you have to do al-Sisi.

Ignore the US islamist deep state headed by the treasonous Brennan, who had an islamic prayer mat inside his office.

Everyone in the West who has more than 2 brain cells in his head knows what you're doing and the reforms you want to implement. It takes time and we know that.

You love your country and the incredible ancient history it represents.

Don't stop until your job is done.

 

In reply to by stizazz

sarz ACP Mon, 02/05/2018 - 02:39 Permalink

Here's something by Kevin Barrett from 2013:

The Greater Israel Project – a long-standing Zionist scheme to steal all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates – is halfway there.

They just stole the Nile.

The problem is not that Egypt’s new thug-in-chief, General Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, is a Jew. (His mother, Malikah Titani, is a Moroccan Jew from Asefi, which makes al-Sisi a Jew and an automatic citizen of Israel.)

More at

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/09/16/al-sisi-jew/

In reply to by ACP

ACP sarz Mon, 02/05/2018 - 02:50 Permalink

Yeah the same Kevin Barrett who said Israel wants to nuke Minneapolis and says that there's a second Trump dossier that proves he's a member of Russian mob?

That's about as legitimate as the stank ass bullshit that comes out of Ben Shapiro's mouth.

 

In reply to by sarz

sarz Déjà view Mon, 02/05/2018 - 03:17 Permalink

Good on new Lord Balfour.

The UN should recognize that the understanding on which it based its recognition of the Jewish state is not at all being honored, and there is no credible assurance of its ever being so as long as the Jewish immigrants and their offspring are in Palestine. They should be sent back to wherever they came from (as the dean of White House correspondents Helen Thomas sincerely averred, for which she was crucified by the Jews). It's not as if Jews are averse to huge movements of migrants -- except for goyim and colored Jews to stolen Palestine. If no other place will have them, there is always Stalin's gift to the chosen, Birobidzhan. 

In reply to by Déjà view

sarz Mr Hankey Mon, 02/05/2018 - 03:47 Permalink

There is some chance that that is actually happening. Here's a comment from the Saker's latest piece at Unz, about Trump's list of Russian sanctions targets:

Group Three: “Трамп Наш” (Тrump is ours):

No, nobody in Russian seriously thinks Trump is a Russian agent or is somehow “owned” by Russia—they say that as a joke, always laughing. But what they do mean is that deep down Trump is a friend of Russia and is actually helping Russia and Putin. How? By taking all sorts of measures which only hurt the US while very powerfully helping Russia (for example, by forcing Russian oligarchs to bring their foreign assets back to Russia). Some even go as far as saying that this list is most damaging to the people opposed to Putin and that it gives him a pretext to fire them all after the Presidential elections in Russia. Far from considering Trump a bumbling idiot, this group sees him as a consummate politician who is actually creating the circumstances to really hurt his (real) enemies and help his (real) friends.

A couple of months back I offered Saker a wager of one bottle of champagne to his ten that Trump is pretending to be an over-aggressive and clueless idiot to bring down the globalist empire in the least hard landing for America. Here Saker sees more of that, though for him it still doesn't compute.  There is nothing Putin wants more than Russian money invested at home. Let me make that one to five now. 

In reply to by Mr Hankey

serotonindumptruck Mon, 02/05/2018 - 01:17 Permalink

If I lived on a property that was surrounded on all sides by blood-thirsty enemies who wanted my wives' and childrens' heads on spikes, then I might consider either relocating or changing my ways so that I might live in harmony with my neighbors.

Alas, living in an apartheid state that excludes all other racial classes and religious creeds is hard work, and requires a constant campaign of warfare and genocide to maintain.