Cii News/IMEMC Aug 6, 2012
Egyptian military lieutenant, Safwat Az-Zayyat, has denied Israeli reports claiming that the attack in the Sinai on the border with Israel was carried out by jihadist groups.
At least 15 Egyptian soldiers were killed, on Sunday evening, while several others were wounded, when gunmen attacked an Egyptian military base, according to IMEMC.
The Israeli army also killed seven gunmen, who reportedly hijacked a military vehicle from the Egyptian military base and attempted to drive through the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) Israeli crossing.
Lieutenant Az-Zayyat was quoted by the Palestinan news agency to have said that, “the escalation on the border was planned by Israel in order to cause rift between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, and to destabilize the situation in Egypt”.
The Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip condemned the incident and called it an “ugly and cowardice criminal attack”. Several other Palestinian factions, also strongly denounced the attack, and said that it “only serves the Israeli interests”, according to IMEMC.
Senior officials of Hamas noted that the attack took place shortly after Israel started talking about a lack of security in the Sinai and just two days after Israel instructed Israeli tourists to leave the region. They claimed to have intelligence of attacks“planned by Jihadist groups operating in Sinai”.
Egyptian President, Mohammad Morsi, called for an urgent meeting with the Egyptian Military Council. He has instructed security forces to take control of the Sinai and pursue and apprehend the assailants, wherever they are, and said that “the killers, and anyone who helped them, will pay a heavy price for their crime”.