Thursday, August 18, 2011

Attacks near Eilat, Aug 18, 2011

Israeli news analysts deduce this:
It wasn't Hamas who has no interest in heating up the border.
A radical Al Qaida-type group that left Gaza, hired Bedoin, crossed Sinai reached the unfenced border
near Eilat, between Mitzpe Ramon and Eilat on a back road near the Great Crater. Opened fire on a private car driven by an Israeli guy with his kids in the back. He hit the gas. Said he saw Egyptian soldiers along the roadside, wondered who they were and what they were doing. The border was only a few yards away. Then the Egyptians opened fire. He hit the gas and took off. No one injured. The Egged bus mostly carrying soldiers from the nearby base on their way to Eilat to catch a bus home for the weekend was then hit. The bus driver also hit the gas. 7 people injured. An army jeep appeared on the scene, and was ambushed with a road-side bomb. Four soldiers killed.Another bus was attacked with an RPG grenade launcher.. Seven Israelis killed all together, nearly forty injured. The army engaged the first group of terrorists that attacked the car and bus, three terrorists killed. One by a suicide bomb. Killed a soldier nearby.

News reports that up to 15 terrorists are still roaming around. The roads to Eilat are closed to prevent more roadside bombs and attacks are expected on that stretch. Fighting between the Israeli army and any terrorists they find is still ongoing, according to reports on the TV just now.

Is this a precursor of what might happen after the September vote?

No fence along the once quiet Sinai/Egyptian/Israeli border that up until now only had Sudanese sneaking into Israel to work, or Bedoin smuggling drugs. The Egyptian uprising resulted in the Egptian security services, according to reports, losing touch with the Bedoin tribal chiefs. The Egyptians have essentially lost control of the Sinai. The Israeli army was supposed to have been covering this open border. The army had been quarreling with the Border Patrol over who was in charge. This sort of attack is a result of that squabble since protecting the border fell between the cracks of a bureaucratic argument.

Analysts now wonder how the Israeli army will strike back, pointing out that once Israel withdrew from Gaza, and the recent lifting of the prohibition of Palestinians entering the Sinai from Gaza, and attack like this was inevitable. The analysts say that a fierce response by Israel against Gaza will not be positive. Only pinpointed attacks against known enemies will work. That and finally building the fence separating Egypt from Israel, a fence that until recently wasn't needed since Egypt and Israel had a peaceful relationship.