Tuesday, August 30, 2011

30-Aug-11: Dark clouds over Israel's south - hard to see from most newspapers, TVs and web pages

Sinai terrorist weapon deployment is now out of control [Source]
At this hour, the following headlines dominate the news in Israel:

HaaretzHome Front Minister: Sinai-based cell may try to attack Israel in coming days / Israel has been warned that a Islamic Jihad-linked cell comprising at least 10 militants may may use Eid al-Fitr as 'right time' to carry out their attacks, says Vilnai; Cairo has deployed more than 1,500 soldiers in peninsula, according to Arab media reports.

Jerusalem PostVilnai: 10-man terror cell planning attack from Sinai / Home front defense minister says cell wants to attack Israel on border with Egypt during Id al-Fitr, and adds that the defense establishment has "concrete evidence." / Vilnai said that the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) were working in close cooperation to thwart the attack and that Israel was also coordinating with Egypt.

Yediot Aharonot/YnetReport: Egyptian forces raid Jihad cells in Sinai / Minister Matan Vilnai says Israel received warning that a cell comprised of more than 10 terrorists may carry out attack on Eid al-Fitr as some 1,500 Egyptian troops reportedly mount large-scale operation in Sinai against Jihad operatives / Large Egyptian army forces are fighting Jihad operatives in the Sinai Peninsula Tuesday as Israel maintains its high alertness level on the southern border following an alert on a cell said to be comprised of more than 10 terrorists.

As for non-Israeli news channels, the story is a non-starter: check for yourself. A quick but comprehensive review of the online editions of BBC World, the New York Times and other opinion formers during the past hour shows not a word of recognition of this developing crisis.

Greg Sheridan, the foreign editor of the influential national newspaper The Australian has an insightful piece today under the heading "Freedom for extremists could make Sinai the new Somalia":
"There is still much cause for hope in the Arab Spring, but we ought not to look away from the many unpleasant facts staring us in the face. Australia's best friend and closest ally in the Middle East is Israel. In many ways, Israel is the only expression in the Middle East, apart perhaps from some segments of Lebanon, of Western civilisation and values. In the long run, Israel would benefit immeasurably from more representative, democratic and successful Arab societies around it... Although, with Israel's agreement, Egypt has sent more troops into Sinai to try to restore order, it has essentially lost control of Sinai, where non-integrated Bedouin tribes are happy to co-operate with Islamist terrorists."

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