March 14, 2012: Associated Press reported hours ago:
Bedouins surround peacekeepers, some US, in Sinai
Uruguayan officials say some of their peacekeeping troops have been surrounded by armed Bedouins in the Sinai desert. And they say U.S. and Colombian troops may also be trapped. The standoff apparently began this week and is still continuing as hundreds of Bedouins armed with automatic rifles surround the peacekeeping force. The force's camp is in Egyptian territory near the border with the Gaza Strip.
[That's the 12-nation MFO peacekeepers, some 1,650 soldiers. The U.S. contingent is the largest.]
January 27, 2008
Gaza Chaos Likely to Metastasize. Are American/Multi-National Forces in Sinai Targets?
The pictures from the Gaza-Egypt border show tens of thousands of Gazans celebrating their “release” from the Hamas-controlled area. But the mass shopping spree may soon be replaced by a paroxysm of deadly terrorism. Consider the terrorist organizations and targets now in play.
- Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are now relatively free to travel throughout the Sinai, including the long, lightly defended Egyptian-Israeli border. They are likely equipped with new weapons and explosives obtained from Hamas arsenals in Sinai. Those weapons no longer have to make the arduous route through tunnels into Gaza. Possible targets: All of Eilat and Israeli army positions and remote villages along the border. Exactly one year ago, in January 2007, a suicide bomber from Gaza infiltrated from Sinai and killed three Eilat residents.
- Egyptian resorts in Sinai are high on the terrorists’ target lists, particularly those that cater to Israeli and European tourists. Dozens of guests were killed in a Taba hotel bombing and beach camping areas in October 2004. Al Qaeda was suspected.
- Al Jazeera reported on Sunday that Egyptians arrested 20 armed Palestinians in Sinai. They were equipped with explosives and electronic devices to listen to Egyptian military transmissions. If true, the arrest suggests that foreign intelligence services may be playing a role in directing the terrorists. Best guess is Iranian, Hizbullah, and/or al Qaeda involvement.
- The 1,800 Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai are sitting ducks for the terrorists. The lightly armed soldiers come from 11 nations, but by far the largest contingent is from the United States. In recent days there were reports that the American forces withdrew from the El Gorah base near Al Arish. U.S.-led multi-national troops are at war with Islamic radicals in Afghanistan and Iraq. Chasing the Americans out of another base in the Middle East will be a great achievement for Nasrallah, Ahmadinejad, Bin Laden, and Assad. In August 2005 an IED was detonated near an MFO vehicle. In April 2006 a suicide bomber attempted to attack an MFO vehicle in Mansoura, Sinai.
- Today, January 27, the Fiji Battalion in Sinai reports that one of its three checkpoints is only 100 meters from where the Gaza security wall was breached. The unit, according to its commander, “is observing and monitoring the movement from Gaza into Egypt and out of the designated zone [emphasis added] of the MFO which we are part of.”
- That means that the tremors coming out of Gaza could spread across the Sinai and the Suez into Egypt itself. The Moslem Brotherhood does not require much to ignite riots in the streets of Cairo.