An intense power struggle is occurring in Egypt between the more moderate military leaders and the recently-elected president from the historically-radical Muslim Brotherhood. The President from the Muslim Brotherhood is firing many top military leaders in an effort to seize control of the nation from the military (see first link). Israel and the West have much at stake in this struggle. If the President can seize power and turn Egypt into a more radicalized nation, this raises the likelihood of a war with Israel, destabilizes the world economy as the Muslim Brotherhood will control access to the Suez Canal, and Egypt may become more sympathetic with Iran’s radical Islamic stance.
This crisis was triggered when Islamic radicals almost certainly from Hamas-ruled Gaza attacked and killed 16 Egyptian soldiers a few days ago in the Sinai region of Egypt. Six of the Islamic radicals stole an Egyptian armored vehicle and drove it into Israeli territory where the Israeli air force killed all of them. The Islamic radicals have continued attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police stations, conducting six simultaneous attacks at one time.
The Egyptian army responded firmly to the attacks. They have hunted down and arrested nine of the original attackers and have brought in tanks and armored vehicles to fight the Islamic radicals. Egypt is also bringing in large cranes and construction equipment to destroy many of the smuggling tunnels in the region where Egypt joins the Gaza Strip. According to one account, 150 such tunnels have already been destroyed by the Egyptian army. Two articles note that large sections of the Sinai region of Egypt have descended into lawlessness as large numbers of Islamic radicals roam the area. These facts and more can be accessed by reading the second, third and fourth links.
Interestingly, these attacks by radicals against Egyptian army and police personnel initially forced greater cooperation between Egypt and Israel. Due to the demilitarization treaty between Israel and Egypt, Egypt had to obtain Israeli approval to bring heavy armored forces into the Sinai region to fight the radicals. Also, the new Egyptian President (a member of the Muslim Brotherhood) sacked his Intelligence Chief for failure to listen to an Israeli warning about the attack which killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.
However, after the Egyptian military responded forcefully against the Islamic radicals, the new Egyptian President lashed out at the Egyptian military, indicating his sympathies lie with the Islamic radicals now being attacked by the Egyptian army.
What strategic goal is being pursued here? I see the fingerprints of Iran all over this action by Hamas-led radicals from Gaza. Hamas is supplied and backed by Iran so it is logical that Iran gave them the orders to attack Egyptian military units. Iran is likely trying to destabilize Egypt in advance of any possible war in the Mideast so Egypt will be unable to come to the rescue of Saudi forces in any Persian Gulf war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are both major Sunni nations and are likely allies against Shiite Iran in any future war. My post before the fall of Egypt’s Mubarak documented that Saudi and Egyptian forces had conducted military maneuvers in Egypt to practice having Egyptian forces coming to Saudi Arabia’s aid in the event of such a war. That likely led to Iran’s efforts to destabilize Egypt and pull down Mubarak from power. Indeed, one wonders if Iran had Hamas attack the Egyptian army now so the radical Islamic Egyptian President could have an excuse to seize power from the Egyptian army when it responded with force against the radicals from Hamas.
If the Islamic radicals seize power in Egypt, the situation in the Mideast will turn much more dangerous as Israel will face a possible two-front war if Iran unleashes Hezbollah, Hamas and Egypt to attack Israel simultaneously. If Egypt attacks Israel in a large-scale war, Egypt may not survive. Israel will use its nuclear weapons if it needs to do so to survive. I think only the most gullible people would doubt that. I’ve been through the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. When the Jews say “Never again!,” they mean it.
As I noted in a previous post, one Israeli nuclear weapon detonated on the Aswan dam would send a tsunami of radioactive water all along the Nile rivercourse and Nile delta. This would effectively kill off Egypt as a nation as all its arable land would be contaminated with radiation for years or decades. This ought to make sane thinkers in Egypt very afraid. Isaiah 19:17 agrees. It states that “In that day [a reference to the latter days] shall Egypt be like unto women…and the land of Judah [the Israelis] shall be a terror to Egypt…” If the Muslim Brotherhood takes over Egypt, forbids Israeli ships to transit the Suez Canal, etc., I think it is a sure bet that one aspect of Israeli war planning will be to designate a nuclear-tipped cruise missile for the Aswan Dam in case war breaks out. It could be fired from an Israeli warplane or a Jericho missile could also be put on permament targeting for the Aswan Dam with ease. The Mideast is looking more dangerous and problematic all the time.