Media reports continue to claim Israel-Egypt alliance, cite US and British sources confirming cooperation; Over 100 Israeli strikes on ISIS reported in two years.
Media reports continue to surface after the New York Times published a story on the secret alliance between the State of Israel and Egypt over the weekend. The article highlights the over 100 Israeli drone, fighter jet and helicopter strikes on ISIS forces in northern Sinai, the newspaper claiming the “remarkable cooperation marks a new stage in the evolution of their singularly fraught relationship.”
Several reports have cited British and American officials confirming cooperation, as well as reports of advanced Arab cooperation with Israel in the fight against common regional threats like Iran, Hezbollah and ISIS.
There have been previous media reports claiming military cooperation between the IDF and Egyptian military and police in its fight against Islamic extremist groups like ISIS, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, on Israel’s borders. Both Israel and Egypt have not confirmed or addressed any covert cooperation with the media.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has addressed increased Arab cooperation with Israel in the fight against Islamic terror. He most recently stated on increased cooperation “What is actually happening with the Arab states has never happened in our history, even when we signed agreements. Cooperation between Israel and Arab states exists in various ways and different levels, though it still is not visible above the surface. There is much more than during any other period in the history of Israel. This is a tremendous change. The entire world is changing.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi continues to lead his military campaign to eradicate Islamic extremists groups from the Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian military and police have been deployed through out the region for the past fives years. ISIS has been active in the region since 2014, after the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis proclaimed its allegiance to the Islamic State.
Both Israel and Egypt continue to destroy terror tunnels on its borders, last month the Israel Air Force confirming it destroyed a Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip. The tunnel ran close to 1.5 kilometers and entered 180 meters into Israeli territory under the Kerem Shalom border and into Egypt around the Rafah border crossing. It was used by the terrorist group for smuggling and planned terror attacks.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for numerous rocket attacks from the Sinai into Israel over the past two years.
Photo: ISIS militant in Sinai, Wikimedia Commons, “United With Israel”, 2018.