Naqab operation and the Gaza massacre

PressTV | Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:44AM GMT
By Mohyeddin Sajedi

An soldier examines the site of ambush on Israeli forces on Thursday.
Six Palestinians, including two children as well as two Egyptian border guards, were killed in an Israeli strike on the City of Gaza.

The slaughter took place following the guerilla operation in the Naqab desert, south of Israel, which led to the deaths of eight Israeli military personnel; although Israel’s raids on Gaza had intensified a few days before the operation.

The Israeli security sources claim that security organizations had obtained some intelligence on the Naqab desert operation and they had also been warned by Jordan’s security apparatus; however, they did not imagine that the guerrillas would launch their operation precisely at 12 o’clock at noon. They expected the operation to take place at night. Israel’s assaults on Gaza in the last few days were aimed at neutralizing this operation or influence it in one way or another, which were not successful anyway.

The Naqab operation was carried out amidst the expansive cleansing operation of the Sinai desert by Egypt’s army and police. The apprehension of extremist al-Qaeda supporters had been stated as the goal of this operation and the Egyptian Army managed to dispatch 1,000 forces to the Sinai desert for the first time after the Camp David Accords was signed.

According to this agreement, Egypt can only keep a limited number of forces in this region. It’s all too clear that the Egyptian forces entered the region only after notifying and consulting with the US and Israel.

Nonetheless, it is now clear that the presence of the Pro-al-Qaeda groups in the Sinai desert had been nothing more than a pretext. Israel had been informed from some time ago that an operation is due in its southern regions.

Tel Aviv waged sporadic raids on Gaza and asked Egypt to dispatch more forces to cancel out the operation and thwart the schemes of its hatchers, since guerilla forces planned to infiltrate the Naqab desert from the Sinai desert.

If this is true, then Egypt’s Military Council will have a tough time persuading the Egyptian public opinion, especially given that the Israeli Air Force has killed one Egyptian officer and two Egyptian soldiers in the border area. The Egyptians have never agreed to a normalization of relations with Israel and will not easily overlook Israel’s assault on the Egyptian soil, violation of its territorial sovereignty, and the killing of border guards.

The US and the EU have condemned the military confrontation between the guerillas and the Israeli soldiers in the Naqab desert and Washington admonished Cairo that it should watch over the security of the Sinai desert, but none of these governments were prepared to condemn the murder of the two Palestinian children in the Israeli air raid on Gaza.

Israel is trying to take advantage of the Naqab operation to counter its internal crisis. The Israelis have staged multiple demonstrations in protest to social injustice and high housing prices, and the government was under pressure to scale down its security budget in favor of social services.

Turning the Neqab operation to an international incident will benefit Netanyahu by allowing him to insist on keeping or even increasing military and security budgets, but this is only a temporary situation and will not resolve Israel’s main problem and will only postpone the bursting of this abscess.

The US is also taking advantage of this opportunity to mount pressure on the Palestinian Authorities, led by Mahmoud Abbas, to not raise the issue of the Palestinian state’s recognition according to the 1967 borders in the United Nations Assembly in September.

Washington has repeatedly threatened Palestinian Authorities with its “veto” power in the Security Council, a council whose vote of approval signifies the addition of a new member to the United Nations.

The guerilla ambush in the Naqab desert is different from the previous ones. A group lies in ambush at the heart of the Sinai desert near the main road for a long time and Israel learns of the assault very late. The operation lasts several hours and the guerillas disperse. Israel, however, claims it has killed all the seven guerillas.

This operation will be the top story for some time and may even turn to an epic. Nonetheless, the US and EU, which played major roles in the founding of Israel and have always supported Tel Aviv, cannot accept that the original citizens of Palestine use means and tools that are officially recognized around the globe as legitimate resistance for regaining their freedom.

Israel-Egypt relations will also undergo some changes. Israel can no longer rely on Egypt like the era of Hosni Mubarak’s presidency. Official Israeli sources say that the guerillas had travelled to the Sinai desert form Gaza and to Naqab desert from there. The Hamas Movement has denied any involvement in this operation, but Israel will not accept this, since this will leave no excuse for attacking Gaza.

Israel is facing the Arab Spring. Continuing operations in Gaza and expansive assaults on this region will fuel the reaction of the Arab public opinion, which has changed from the past.

HMV/MYA/MB

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