Categorie
Uncategorized

EGYPT/ISIS/SINAI/ISRAEL – Islamic State Province in Sinai Changes its Strategy: Are Israel and the Suez Canal in the Crosshairs? (Tomer Naveh, Yoram Schweitzer, INSS)

In the past few months, Wilayat Sinai (the Sinai Province), which is the Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in Egypt, carried out two unconventional attacks. On November 19, 2020 it blew up (yet once more) a pipeline that carries natural gas from Israel to Egypt and on July 21 it attacked an Egyptian military base in the area of Rabaa in Sinai. Following that attack, Wilayat Sinai militants held  four nearby villages that were liberated by the Egyptian army only after three months of fighting. The attack on Rabaa was unusual and may indicate a strategic change in the organization, shifting from survival-based defensive action toward offensive actions that inflict considerable damage on the Egyptian regime and economy – inter alia by means of attacking the Suez Canal and tourism in the Sinai Peninsula. A call to Wilayat Sinai to attack Israel in a speech this past January by an Islamic State spokesman could spur a shift in priorities for the Islamic State affiliate, and add Israel as an additional target for attacks, while it continues to focus its primary efforts on the Egyptian army and civilians. Wilayat Sinai might attempt to fulfil this directive by attacking Israelis, who are likely to return to Sinai once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

https://www.inss.org.il/publication/sinai-isis/