American and British officials have revealed that Israel has been actively assisting Egypt in its prolonged war against jihadists and ISIS terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula. The collaboration over more than two years has seen a variety of unmarked Israeli aircraft such as drones, helicopters and jets carry out more than 100 airstrikes in the northern Sinai, helping turn the tide of battle there.
In Israel's biggest export deal to date, Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings has agreed to buy 64 billion cubic metres of Israeli natural gas for US$15 billion from Delek Drilling, and its US partner Noble, during a 10-year period. The gas will be delivered to Egypt from Israel's Tamar gas field, and the larger Leviathan gas field which is expected to be operational in late 2019.
This Update deals with the alleged revelation, reported in the New York Times over the weekend, that Israel has secretly been conducting extensive airstrikes against ISIS-linked Islamic militants in Sinai over the past two years, with the agreement and cooperation of the Egyptian government.
Seven years after it was ignited by an unassuming street vendor in Tunis, the consequent chain reaction of political downfalls, civil wars, and geopolitical tremors has yet to come to an end... the conflicts across the Arab world have become a major destabilising force across the international system, while producing the century's bloodiest war.
The November 24, 2017 attack on al-Rawda Mosque in Bir al-Abed in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, apparently by Wilayat Sinai, a proxy of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Egypt, was the most deadly terrorist attack Egypt has ever known... Beyond the unusual scope of casualties, it was also unusual in its target: Salafi jihadist Sunnis massacring Sunni worshippers of the Sufi branch of Islam.
Israel has said it will prevent ISIS operating close to its border. Both the Islamic State-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly the al-Nusra Front, linked to al-Qaeda, already reportedly have a presence close to Israel's Golan borders.
Half a year after its arch-rival set out to choke it, Hamas appears to have effectively surrendered.
What began with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas' decision in April to cease paying for Gaza's fuel shipments from Israel has now culminated in Hamas' ostensible agreement to relinquish civilian rule of the coastal strip to the PA.
When I accepted a job as Cairo bureau chief for the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera English television news channel in September 2013, I demanded and was assured that my team would remain independent from the network's Arabic channels.