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Report: Egypt’s Military Junta Has Been Allowing Israeli Drone Strikes In Egypt

A new report reveals that Israel has launched several drone strikes against targets in the Sinai in recent years.
By Jason Ditz | Antiwar.com | July 12, 2016

While a lot of the focus of Israel’s relationship with Egypt lately has centered on rare critical comments from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry related to the ongoing occupation of Palestine, the reality of the situation is that since the Egyptian military launched a coup d’etat in summer of 2013, ties with Israel couldn’t be better.

Israeli officials today were bragging up their great ties with the Egyptian junta, with an unnamed former official confirming that Israel has launched several drone strikes against targets inside Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, with the “blessing” of the junta.

Egypt launched a major offensive into Sinai immediately following the coup, accusing local tribal factions of being in league with the ousted elected government. This spiraled quickly into a full-scale war with an Islamist group, which is now an ISIS affiliate.

Israel, which endorsed the coup as good for Mideast stability, has backed the junta from day one, and while it is unsurprising that they’d be backing the junta with military support, this is the first real admission to that effect that it has been ongoing, a fact the junta would doubtless like to keep secret.Schermata 2016 07 12 alle 22.12.29

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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