Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Blames Sinai Attack on Mossad

The Muslim Brotherhood said on its website that Sunday's attack in Sinai on an Egyptian army outpost was an Israeli attempt to thwart President Morsi; Israel's Foreign Ministry denies the claims.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said on its website on Monday that the attack on a police station in Sinai on Sunday in which 16 policemen were killed "can be attributed to Mossad" and was an attempt to thwart Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

The statement said the Mossad was trying to abort the Egyptian uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak last year and that it was "imperative to review clauses" of the agreement between Egypt and Israel.

Egypt branded the Islamist gunmen behind the attack as "infidels" and promised on Monday to launch a crackdown following the massacre that has strained Cairo's ties with both Israel and Palestinians.

The bloodshed represented an early diplomatic test for Morsi, who took office at the end of June after staunch U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year in a popular uprising.

Mubarak had cooperated closely with Israel on security and suppressed Islamist movements such as Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood which rejects violence to achieve its goals but whose leaders often voiced hostility towards the Jewish state.

The group said on its website on Monday: "This crime can be attributed to the Mossad, which has been seeking to abort the revolution since its inception and the proof of this is that it gave instructions to its Zionist citizens in Sinai to depart immediately a few days ago."

"[It] also draws our attention to the fact that our forces in Sinai are not enough to protect it and our borders, which makes it imperative to review clauses in the signed agreement between us and the Zionist entity," the group said.

An Egyptian commentator told Haaretz that there is a consensus in Egypt that Israel was involved in the attack, as Israel is the immediate and primary beneficiary of the impact of the attack. There is also criticism in Egypt of the fact that the president and the heads of the security services did not have any information that could have prevented or foiled the attack, which revealed their lack of control over the Sinai.

Only two days ago, the source said, the governor of the northern Sinai came out against Israeli government warnings against travel in the Sinai, saying that they were propaganda aimed at reducing tourism.

Israel's Foreign Ministry denied the claims. Spokesman Yigal Palmor said, "Even the person who says this when he looks at himself in the mirror does not believe the nonsense he is uttering."

Egypt's new president Mohammed Morsi - Reuters - June 16, 2012
On the border between Egypt, Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Eliahu Hershkovitz