Egypt Junta Seeks Israeli Okay to Widen Sinai Offensive

Hamas Denies Claims of 32 Members Slain in Sinai

Egypt’s new military junta has reportedly contacted the Israeli government to request permission to launch a broader offensive against the Sinai Peninsula. Per the Camp David Accords, all military operations in Sinai must be approved by Israel.

The military anticipated Sinai as a hotspot ahead of the coup, and deployed tanks along the border with the Gaza Strip to prevent Hamas from deploying fighters in support of the ousted government.

Some reports suggest that Hamas fighters have been among the targets in Sinai, with claims of 32 killed and 45 captured by the junta. Hamas has denied the reports, saying they were made up to embarrass them.

Hamas clearly does have an interest in opposing the new junta, which has staked out a similarly hostile position to the former Mubarak government. President Morsi’s ousted government, by contrast, was ideologically supportive of Hamas, and had even convinced the faction to distance itself from Syria and Iran in favor of a new Sunni Islamist bloc of allies.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.