Daily Israel Report

Egypt Admits: We Received Intelligence About the Attack

Head of Egyptian intelligence says Egypt had received intelligence about attack on the Egypt-Israel border before it took place.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/8/2012, 12:13 AM

Wreckage of APC from terror attack.
Wreckage of APC from terror attack.
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The head of Egyptian intelligence said on Tuesday that Egypt had received intelligence about Sunday’s attack on the Egypt-Israel border before it took place.

Mourad Mowafy told a Turkish news agency that “Despite the detailed information about the attack, we never imagined that a Muslim would kill a Muslim during the meal to end the Ramadan fast day.”

He added, “But this does not diminish the ability of our security agencies and their vigilance in Sinai." He added that preliminary information suggests that the terrorists belong to a group in Sinai and Gaza.

Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency quoted medical and security sources on Tuesday as saying that the bodies and body parts of the attackers were transferred from the Arish General Hospital morgue to the Department of Forensic Medicine in Cairo.

MENA quoted unnamed sources as saying autopsies would be conducted to identify the bodies. Israel on Monday handed over four bodies to their Egyptian counterparts through the Awja crossing, most of which were completely burned, the report said.

Sunday’s terror attack began when terrorists attacked two Egyptian army posts in the Egyptian part of Rafiah with anti-tank rockets and gunfire. The terrorists then tried to infiltrate into Israel using two stolen Egyptian military vehicles, but were foiled by the IDF.

The Muslim Brotherhood claimed that Israel was behind the terror attack, saying it “could be attributed to the Mossad, which has been seeking to abort the Egyptian revolution, especially as it had several days ago instructed Israeli citizens who were in Sinai to leave immediately.”

The movement’s statement added that the incident “aims to add problems at the border to those already plaguing the country internally following the collapse of a corrupt system, and attempts to claim the failure of the new Egyptian government that was formed only three days ago.”

Hamas’ de-facto Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, repeated the Muslim Brotherhood’s claims, saying, “Israel is responsible, one way or another, for this attack to embarrass Egypt's leadership and create new problems at the border, in order to ruin efforts to end the [Israeli] siege of the Gaza Strip.”

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Tuesday that Egypt began to seal off smuggling tunnels into Gaza.

A Reuters reporter said heavy equipment was brought to the Egyptian side of the tunnels, which are used to smuggle people to and from Gaza as well as food and fuel.

A security source told the news agency that “the campaign aims at closing all the openings between Egypt and the Gaza Strip that are used in smuggling operations.”

However, Israel’s Former Ambassador to Egypt Tzvi Mazel expressed doubt that the Egyptian government will take effective action against the terrorists who operate in Sinai.

“We must remember that the person running Egypt today is the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi,” he told Arutz Sheva. “The Muslim Brotherhood is the group that laid the foundations for today's radical Islam and Islamic terrorism. The Muslim Brotherhood developed a theory that favors a return to 'the good old days' of the prophet Mohammed and establish a Muslim empire. Islamic law would be the constitution and then they would make an effort to conquer the world.”

“The terrorists who came to carry out the attack from Sinai were raised upon the Muslim Brotherhood's fanatical theory,” he said. “Morsi and the terrorists who carried out the attack have the same ideology and the same goal – to impose Islam on the Middle East and the entire world.”