Islamic terrorists destroyed part of an Egyptian security building at Rafiah Saturday night, challenging Cairo’s control over the Sinai after the ceasefire with Israel. No one was injured in the explosion at the base, under construction n the Egyptians side of Rafiah, the smuggling capital of Gaza.
The attack came 48 hours after Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi granted himself extensive new powers, which were challenged by Cairo's judiciary.
A separate explosion injured three people further south in the Sinai, where Egypt is building a facility to help it protect the pipeline that ships natural gas to Israel and Jordan. Terrorists have bombed the pipeline more than a dozen times the past two years in an effort to scuttle the agreement to sell gas to Israel.
Saturdays night’s bombing underlined Egypt’s difficulty in re-asserting control over the Sinai, where Hamas terrorists from Gaza, along with Bedouin allies and Al Qaeda-linked terrorist cells, have carved out regions of authority. They have staged increasingly frequent terrorist attacks on Israel. Several Israelis have been killed in the attacks.
Maintaining peace and quiet in the Sinai is a primary task for Egypt, experts said; the new government needs to prove to the United States, Israel, and Hamas that it can carry out its promise to protect Israel from terrorists.
Attacks from the Sinai could undermine the truce, moving the field of battle into the Sinai and eventually spreading back into Gaza, even if Hamas abides by the ceasefire that ended the eight-day Pillar of Defense counterterrorist operation