Militants operating within the Sinai Peninsula launched two rockets that landed in the southern tourist town of Eilat, in Israel Wednesday. It was the fourth attack in nearly two years for the city, making them no strangers to such outbreaks of violence. The question is how this attack will affect the relationship between these two teetering allies, and more importantly how will Israel respond.
A less known extremist Muslim group based in Gaza has claimed responsibility for the attack. Reportedly, this group responded to the death of a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli captivity last month. Moreover, they requested the release of Salafi prisoners, a group that is frequently interned by Hamas for being a threat to their power. This says a lot about this mysterious group, as they seem to have acted outside the sphere of Hamas influence.
Many have questioned the impact this attack might have on the relationship between Israel and Egypt. Egypt released a statement denying any involvement in the matter and vowed to investigate the situation. Morsi’s spokesman went on to state that his administration is dedicated to preserving and protecting peace in the region. After reading these reports one realizes that this attack lacks any Egyptian involvement. The only strain in the relationship surrounds the security in the Sinai Peninsula. As witnessed, this attack was able to be carried out because of the lax enforcement present in the region. This allows for groups to attack Israel quite easily, and the carelessness in the region allows for outside groups to supply weapons as well.
Benjamin Netanyahu, although abroad in England for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, has been in contact with the Israeli Defense Minister in regards to an appropriate response. The only action that must be taken is increased security in the region. As Israeli officials have stated, the Morsi government has proven to be a great partner in improving coordination between both countries within the Sinai. This leads one to argue that no action will be taken against Egypt on behalf of Israel, instead these allies will engage in more coordination and cooperation to eliminate the nagging threats residing in the Sinai.