- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -
Egypt's Military Buildup in Sinai Violates Its Peace Treaty with Israel
Posted By James Phillips On August 21, 2012 @ 4:55 pm In Featured | Comments Disabled
Egypt is preparing a military offensive  against Islamist militants in the Sinai who have launched a series of terrorist attacks against Egyptian border guards in an effort to weaken the central government and provoke a war with Israel.
This campaign is expected to include armored forces and air strikes in the first major Egyptian military action in the demilitarized Sinai Peninsula since the 1973 Arab–Israeli war.
Israeli officials voiced alarm  at Egypt’s violation of the 1979 Egypt–Israel peace treaty, which bans the deployment of tanks near the border. Israel is rightly concerned that Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood–dominated government will use the deteriorating security situation in the Sinai as a means of undermining the peace treaty, which it has long criticized.
Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi opportunistically used an August 5 terrorist attack in the Sinai that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers as a pretext for removing  holdovers from the Mubarak regime from the top of the army’s chain of command. This bold move removed important constraints on Morsi’s power and has cleared the way for his Muslim Brotherhood  movement to consolidate its control over Egypt’s state institutions.
Under the guise of fighting terrorism, Morsi is likely to use the Sinai campaign to boost his political position at home, thumb his nose at Israel, and escalate Egypt’s cooperation with Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood that controls Gaza  and remains wedded to a terrorist war of attrition to destroy Israel.
Morsi is no friend of the United States or the West, let alone Israel. He has already announced  that he will visit Iran on August 30 to attend a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement that will boost Iran’s efforts to wriggle out from under international sanctions imposed due to its nuclear weapons program.
Meanwhile, Iran once again rattled its rockets to underscore its nuclear defiance. Tehran unveiled a new missile  and announced plans to build an air defense complex to discourage a preventive strike by Israel or the U.S. against its nuclear infrastructure. Iran’s truculent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned last Friday  that there would be no place in the “new Middle East” for Israel, which he denounced as a “cancerous tumor.”
Given these bellicose Iranian threats and clear evidence of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and ballistic missile buildup, it is little wonder that Israel is mulling  a preventive military strike in self-defense. But the Obama Administration remains more assertive about restraining Israel  than in confronting Iran.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/08/21/egypts-military-buildup-in-sinai-violates-its-peace-treaty-with-israel/
URLs in this post:
 military offensive: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/20/us-egypt-sinai-idUSBRE87J0GH20120820
 voiced alarm: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/08/21/israel-accuses-egypt-violating-peace-treaty-in-sinai/
 pretext for removing: http://blog.heritage.org../../../../../2012/08/14/muslim-brotherhood-consolidates-control-over-egypt/
 Muslim Brotherhood: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/02/egypts-muslim-brotherhood-lurks-as-a-long-term-threat-to-freedom
 controls Gaza: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/01/end-hamas-hostage-strategy-to-bring-peace-to-gaza
 announced: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/19/world/meast/egypt-morsy-iran/index.html
 unveiled a new missile: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-unveils-missile-starts-air-defense-125847946.html
 warned last Friday: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/17/us-iran-israel-idUSBRE87G0AR20120817
 Israel is mulling: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/israel-debates-a-strike-on-iran
 restraining Israel: http://blog.heritage.org../../../../../2012/08/03/panetta-attempts-to-reassure-and-restrain-israel-on-the-iran-nuclear-issue/
 Greater U.S. Pressure Needed to Ensure Successful Egyptian Transition: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/03/us-egypt-relations-greater-pressure-needed-to-ensure-successful-egyptian-transition
Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.