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Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF foiled a major terror attack from the Sinai. Terrorists stole two Egytian armored jeeps and crashed their way through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The Jerusalem Post describes what happened next:
One of the vehicles, likely boobytrapped, exploded as it rammed through the Kerem Shalom crossing, which is shared by Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip. A number of terrorists succeeded in exiting the second vehicle before it was destroyed by an air strike. They crossed into Israel and engaged in a firefight with IDF troops . . .
The IDF said the attack was not connected to an Israeli air strike earlier in the day against a global jihad terror cell that was in the final stages of planning an attack against Israel and along the Egyptian border. The air strike killed one terrorist and seriously wounded another.
No Israelis were injured. Wire services said 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed. At least eight terrorists were killed by IDF fire. More details at Haaretz. And YNet raises the specter of an Egyptian attack on Gaza:
Egyptian analysts who were interviewed overnight demanded that Hamas security forces in Gaza cooperate with Egypt in the effort to apprehend the terrorists. “If we will be forced to strike Gaza, as Israel has, we will do it – if it is proven that those who committed the attack came from Gaza,” one of the military analysts said.
By the way, the NY Times notes:
Officials with Hamas, the Islamist group that governs the Gaza Strip, condemned the attack, calling it “terror.”
One day before the attack, Asharq al-Awsat noted Sinai’s rising tide of jihad.
2. The Times of London (paywall) reports that Islamists and criminals are increasingly dividing the opposition. Rebels tell of financial aid with Islamic strings attached, criminal elements with their own agendas, even the creation of an exclusively Christian brigade that worries some:
Among Syrian revolutionaries there is concern that self-interested groups — some criminal, others extremist — are bringing divisive agendas that could rob the revolution of its original tenets of freedom and democracy. “They are not doing anything serious [against the regime], they are not freeing the area. The good people are leaving for other areas,” Abu Laila said . . .
The men said that the Muslim Brotherhood had recently begun recruiting followers in the camps. “People are getting a lot of money not because they are doing a lot but because their sponsor has an agenda — like the Muslim Brotherhood,” said one man.
“Around Hama [the spiritual heartland of the Brotherhood in Syria] they have the best weapons, but they are not using them. They are buying them for the future, and this is frightening. The FSA now considers them a third party to fight later.”
3. Hacking woes continue for Reuters. In the latest attack, the ReutersTech account was taken over and renamed ReutersME. Pro-Syrian “news” was then tweeted to the feed’s 17,000+ followers. Screen grabs and links at The Lede and The Next Web.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Pro-Palestinian activists are planning another “flytilla” for August 24, but it won’t be at Ben-Gurion Airport, and it’ll involve fewer people. From YNet:
The pro-Palestinian activists will fly into the Jordanian capital of Amman from different countries around the world, but mostly from France, and will then tour refugee camps before heading to Allenby Crossing, where they will request to pass into the Palestinian Authority. . . .
Neno noted that the decision to bring a small number of activists this time around is meant to help them enter the Palestinian Authority without creating a fuss. “We hope Israel lets them cross, but if it refuses, we will return with another campaign which will see masses of activists swarm Ben-Gurion airport.”
• The Irish Times caught up with Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf. The founders of the International Solidarity Movement talk about activism and married life.