From the AP. We are in a new era of cooperation between Israel and Egypt. Israel launches a drone strike in the Sinai and kills “five jihadis,” according to Egyptian news agency. This is very close to Gaza, which has experienced a crackdown from Egypt since the coup.
EL-ARISH, Egypt — An Israeli drone strike inside Egypt killed five suspected Islamic militants and destroyed a rocket launcher Friday, two senior Egyptian security officials said, marking a rare Israeli operation carried out in its Arab neighbor’s territory….
The strike, coming after a warning from Egypt caused Israel to briefly close an airport Thursday, potentially signals a significant new level of cooperation between the two former foes over security matters in the largely lawless Sinai Peninsula after a military coup ousted Egypt’s president. Egypt long has maintained that it wouldn’t allow other countries to use its territories as hotbed to launch attacks against other countries.
….A statement later posted on the official Facebook page of Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali, an Egyptian military spokesman, said there had been two explosions in el-Agra, south of Rafah, and that security forces were investigating. Egypt’s official MENA news agency said an explosion destroyed a rocket launcher set near the border to launch attacks against Israel. The agency said at least five jihadis were killed….
…While Egypt signed a peace deal with Israel in 1979, the country has long been suspicious of the Jewish state’s intentions while annually celebrating its own military exploits against Israel in the Sinai. Allowing an Israeli drone strike inside its own territory represents military cooperation otherwise never seen before.
Ed Moloney sent this to me. I asked him about my belief that there was broad support in Egyptian society for the coup. He said:
“Anti-Morsi Egyptians had their very valid reasons to unseat the MB but what would their reaction have been had they known that out of sight, as now seems more than credible, the Obama White House, the upper crust of the Egyptian military and Israel were embarking on the same mission for very different reasons, using a feigned concern for the wellbeing of ordinary Egyptians to advance their own narrow interests? Would they have said, ‘that’s fine, go ahead. as long as we get rid of Morsi nothing else matters?’ I wonder.
“And anyway, notwithstanding the answer to that question, I think what we in this country need to know is what role, if any, did the US and Israel play in these events? Since it is more than likely that the US, Israel and the Egyptian military had their own fish to fry in that unfortunate country, I think an incident like this raises all the obvious and necessary questions.”