Today Egypt is celebrating Sinai day. For those who do not know what is , it commemorates the withdrawal of Israeli troops in 1982 from Sinai Peninsula except from Taba. After 31 years ago I have to ask two important questions today especially with all the debates around Sinai recently
Who killed our soldiers in Sinai ??
Yes whenever I hear the word “Sinai” now I always remember how our soldiers were brutally murdered in cold blood last August 2012 and I remember how on earth months passed and we did not know the truth behind their murder. It is not an easy violent terrorist attack , it had shaken the society and I even remember how some compared it with the bitterness of 1967 defeat.
President Morsi , the army and the intelligence should be frank and honest to tell us the truth. The army commandership should respect the blood of those soldiers as well their families and tell us the truth.
Of course in the past few months wild conspiracy theories and claims about how Hamas directly standing behind their murders were taking Egypt’s mainstream and social media by storm. For several weeks in March 2013 Ahram Al Arabi published a series of reports by names of Hamas leaders claiming that they are responsible personally for the attack. Hamas of course denied those allegations completely.
Naturally when you bring Hamas in such debate you bring with it ; its mother movement the Muslim brotherhood is dragged and it is not a secret that many people are convinced now that the president Morsi and the MB stood behind the attack themselves. According to that theory Morsi and the MB wanted to get rid from SCAF and they did. They say that GIS presented a full report to Morsi about the attack a week before it took place and that he did not take any step regarding it. Of course one must wonder why the GIS did not warn the army about it.
The info or let’s just say that the leaks I heard from sources “supposedly to be trusted” say that Hamas did not do it and kill our soldiers but they do know those who stand behind their murder and they refuse to hand them over to Cairo.
The army announced some military operation called “Eagle” if you remember. Till this moment we do not its progress and actually all the indications in Sinai. From what I see the terrorists and the Jihadists have not been stopped at all.
I believe again if the GIS or the army knows any information about that attack both of them should share it with the people of Egypt because it is their duty in front of the people and the country. I think that age of keeping the things in secret so the president is not embarrassed is over not to mention they do not love the president or his group.
Of course one would dream to have a real constitution and a real parliament that would bring both the minister of defense and the head of the intelligence and ask them about what happened to our soldiers in a public hearing like the congressional hearings we saw about Iraq and Afghanistan.
Well I keep dreaming this and I wish to see it before I die !!
After 31 years What did we do in Sinai ??
Today hundreds if not thousands of Egyptians shared the photos of Yamit settlement and how its Israeli settlers were kicked out of Sinai from 31 years ago. Those who witnessed the event on TV remembered the scenes of Israeli forces pulling away the settlers from the agricultural settlement.
Now after 31 years I would like to say that unfortunately after seeing the photos of Yamit , I wonder where the urban development from in North and Middle Sinai !!
Why did we fail to have settlements like Yamit in the past 31 years !? For 31 years we have failed in securing Sinai for real. In 3 decades the people of Sinai are completely ignored by the centralized government in Egypt with jobs or education or even respect. In 3 decades Sinai became a hot zone for human and drug smuggling and trafficking. In the past decades Sinai saw a growing terrorist spots and now we got Jihadists in the past 3 years roaming freely.
Of course the biggest blame here is on the Mubarak regime in that failure leaving Sinai without no real urban development plans all those years. The only thing related to development in Sinai in those 30 years was the tourism development in the South that actually is not enough. Sinai is empty land and it should not be so for too long.
I do not believe that Camp David treaty is the true reason as much as the lack of political will whether in time of Mubarak or in time of Morsi.
Speaking about Morsi , well it seems that Sinai is going to complete its suffering under the MB rule. Actually our national security in Sinai is being threatened by the MB’s own definition of National security and their regional and international policies.
The MB does not recognize the meaning of borders as the brotherhood believes in the caliphate , they believe that Egypt and Gaza are one part of global Caliphate.I do not think that they will think in the same way like we do if the scenario of resettling the Palestinian refugees in Sinai was suggested by the States and Israel as a permanent solution. After all Sinai is regarded an empty land in their eyes , a wasteland !!
By the way you must know that it was true that the MB and Morsi were approving to sell large pieces of land in Sinai to Qatari and Turkish investors , the thing that the army stood against. The ministry of defense issued a controversial law to ban the sell of land in Sinai to foreigners from couple of months ago. According to the law the ministry of defense and the intelligence should approve on the lease of land to foreigners and purchase of land in the Peninsula.
Of course the law made the locals extremely angry in Sinai because it banned the ownership and purchase of land on the borders and the area near to the borders.
This is the first law to be issued without the revision of the Shura council or the approval of the president. It was one of the milestones of the complicated relations between the army and the MB.
In the end Sinai will be always in danger as long as it is neglected , as long as its people are treated as second degree citizens and as long as the only development we think of when we speak about Sinai is the tourism development.