[Debate] 7 Dead in Attacks on Israelis Near Egypt
critical.montages at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 17:16:48 BST 2011
You see, the US allies in the region, especially the Gulf Arab states,
have been stirring up a lot of salafis, in some cases, as in Libya and
Syria, clearly with the approval of the US and other Western powers.
But stirring them up can easily lead to a blowback -- the lesson they
could and should have learned in the blowbacks from the anticommunist
campaign in Afghanistan initiated by Carter. I have warned and
continue to warn leftists not to give political support to the rebels
that include a lot of armed salafis as in the case of Libya and Syria
and not to justify their terrorism as if it were righteous revenge.
You can't stir up salafis in some countries without stirring them up
in others, since salafis are internationalists par excellence.
August 18, 2011
7 Dead in Attacks on Israelis Near Egypt
By ISABEL KERSHNER and J. DAVID GOODMAN
JERUSALEM — Attackers mounted at least three separate strikes on
Israeli civilians and soldiers around the popular Red Sea resort of
Eilat on Thursday, in what the country’s defense minister called a
“grave terrorist incident.” Seven Israelis were reported killed and 20
wounded, and the military said seven attackers were killed.
The Israeli military said the attacks, the deadliest here in more than
two years, had originated in Gaza and were the result of increased
lawlessness in eastern Egypt following the country’s revolution. That
would make them the first violent attacks inside Israel that were
directly tied to the political upheaval in the Arab world this spring.
The government of Israel has long expressed concern about such an
The first attack took place around midday in a sparsely populated area
close to Israel’s border with Egypt in the Sinai desert, as gunmen
opened fire on an Israeli bus. Shortly after that, the Israeli
military said, assailants fired an anti-tank missile at a private car
and, in a third attack, detonated a roadside bomb next to Israeli
soldiers who were on their way to the scene of the bus attack and were
travelling near the border with Egypt.
“This is a grave terrorist incident in a number of locations,” said
the defense minister, Ehud Barak. “The incident reflects the weakness
of Egypt’s hold over Sinai and the spread of terrorist elements. The
source of the terrorist attacks is in Gaza, and we will act against
them with full force and determination.”
A spokesman for the Israeli ambulance service said seven Israelis were
killed but he could not say how many were civilians and how many were
soldiers. As for the attackers, Israeli forces were “still sweeping
the area, and there are still shots fired,” said Ofir Gendelman, a
spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The attacks marked the deadliest day for Israel since Mr. Netanyahu
came into office two and a half years ago.
Mr. Netanyahu called the assault “a grave incident that struck at
Israelis and the sovereignty of the state” and said that “Israel will
The gunmen in the bus attack, who fired from a car, sped away from the
scene afterward, and Israeli forces and helicopters chased after them.
The military spokesman said there had been initial contact between the
Israeli forces and the attackers.
Television pictures from the scene showed the bus, which had come to a
stop near a roadblock at Netafim, a few miles northwest of Eilat, with
shattered windows and bullet holes in the front. Passengers said they
saw three gunmen wearing blue overalls. The bus was traveling from the
southern Israeli city of Beersheba to Eilat, and was carrying soldiers
The Israeli military shut down two highways around the town of Eilat
after the attack, complicating efforts to report from the scene.
Reuters retracted an earlier bulletin describing an explosion in
Israeli analysts speculated that the gunmen in the bus strike may have
come from Gaza, traveled south via Sinai and crossed the border from
there into Israel, or that they originated in the Sinai.
The Sinai has become notorious for lawlessness, and Israel has
repeatedly issued stern warnings to tourists about the risk from
Islamic extremists operating in the desert region.
Egyptian news media, citing state television, said security officials
whom it did not name denied that the attacks in Israel on Thursday
were mounted from Egypt.
In recent days, Egyptian soldiers have been sent to crack down on
lawlessness in the northern Sinai, following an attack on a police
post there. The region is dominated by Bedouin tribes and is a hotbed
of illegal weapons sales, smuggling and other activities. A pipeline
that runs through the area, carrying natural gas to Israel from Egypt,
has been disrupted by five bombings in recent months.
In early 2007, a Palestinian walked from Egypt across the border into
Israel, hitched a ride from an Israeli motorist and then blew himself
up inside a bakery in Eilat, killing three.
Isabel Kershner reported from Jerusalem and J. David Goodman from New York.
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