Terrorism is on the rise in the Sinai Peninsula, with Egyptian soldiers paying the ultimate price on Sunday. Two Egyptian soldiers were killed and two others were wounded Sunday by radical Salafi Islamist terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.
The ambush took place against the backdrop of increasing anarchy in the region, populated largely by Bedouin tribes.
Security officials said they were planning to dispatch larger forces to the region, where terror attacks against Egyptian troops have been on the rise in recent months.
Last month, two smugglers were killed by Egyptian security forces as they attempted to enter Israel through the Sinai border. Security officials subsequently confirmed killing one Egyptian Bedouin and one Israeli Arab in a tersely worded official statement.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented earlier this month that the region is rapidly becoming a “rocket launching pad for terrorists,” in addition to having already become a hideout for terror cells. Israel is building a security barrier in an effort to deter attacks.
Just prior to the Passover holiday, terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula fired three Grad Katyusha rockets at the Red Sea resort city of Eilat. The remains of one of the rockets was found almost immediately. A second, unexploded rocket was discovered several days later, outside the city. It is not clear whether or where the third missiles was located.
Last year eight Israelis and six Egyptian soldiers were killed in cross-border attack on Highway 12 north of Eilat by terrorists based in the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian security forces died in the crossfire between the terrorists and IDF soldiers who were defending Israelis in the attack.
Egyptian Islamists and other agitators used the event as an excuse to incite the citizenry against Israel and whipped the populace into a frenzy of hate, eventually leading to a riot in which a mob stormed the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and tore it apart. The embassy staff barely escaped with their lives, and Israel's embassy has remained closed ever since.