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Who attacked El Arish?

El ArishNow that the Egyptians have reported the story of the El Arish assault, it looks strange. The attackers were dressed in Al Qaeda-style black uniforms, but their affiliation is otherwise unknown.

Al Qaeda cells in Sinai are too minuscule to have mustered the 150 gunmen who assaulted El Arish. Their arsenal was too formidable even for the Salafist cousins of Al Qaeda: they were armed with large numbers of RPGs, rocket launchers, and heavy machine guns.

Al Qaeda has never before shown any interest in the Egyptian-Israeli pipeline, which was the main target in El Arish. Overall, it seems that the Muslim Brotherhood and its Hamas branch staged a false-flag attack. The pipeline, we now understand, is completely defenseless against this type of concentrated attack, and in our estimation there is no chance of reestablishing gas supply from Egypt to Israel.

Meanwhile, a 1,000-strong garrison of US and Canadian marines stationed ten miles from El Arish (in accordance with the Camp David accords), made no attempt to intervene.

Lawlessness in Sinai is strategically good for Israel. After Egypt loses the peninsula to Islamists and Bedouins, we can re-acquire it.

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