|Part of Aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and the War on Terror|
Map of the Sinai Peninsula
|Commanders and leaders|
| Mohammad Morsi
Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi
|Casualties and losses|
| Military: 21 killed
Police: 7 killed
|55 militants killed|
|5 Egyptian and 7 Israeli civilians killed
Total: 97-105 killed
Sinai insurgency is a radical Islamist militant activity in Sinai peninsula, initiating in early 2011, as a fallout of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. The actions of those Islamist elements, largely composed of radicals among the local Bedouins, drew a harsh response from interim Egyptian government since mid-2011 as Operation Eagle. However, attacks against government and foreign facilities in the area have continued by mid-2012, resulting in massive crackdown by new Egyptian government nicknamed Operation Sinai. In May 2013, following an abduction of Egyptian officers, the violence in Sinai surged once again.
Following the overthrow of the Egyptian regime of Mubarak in 2011, the country became increasingly distabilized. Radical Islamic elements in the Sinai peninsula exploited the opportunity, using the unique environment of the largely demilitarized Sinai Peninsula, in launching several waves of attacks upon Egyptian military and commercial facilities.
First attacks 
Commercial facilities 
First insurgency attacks came sporadically from late February 2011, concentrating on the Arab Gas Pipeline, running into Jordan, Syria and Lebanon and its offshoot from al-Arish to Israel - constantly disrupting Egyptian gas supply to the entire region.
July 2011 Egyptian police station attack 
On 30 July, militants staged an attack on an Egyptian police station in El-Arish, killing six.
Operation Eagle 
In mid-2011, a squad of unrecognized Islamic terrorists infiltrated Israeli border from Sinai, launching coordinated attacks against Israeli military and civilians. Following bloody clashes in the south, Israel accused Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and launched retaliation attack, escalating the tension with Palestinian militants.
August 2012 attack 
On 5 August 2012, a group of armed men ambushed an Egyptian military base in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 16 Egyptian soldiers and stealing two Egyptian armored cars, and then infiltrated into Israel. The attackers rammed through the Kerem Shalom border crossing in Israel, while one of the vehicles exploded. The attackers then engaged in a firefight with soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, and six attackers were killed during the firefight. No Israelis were injured. The attackers were dressed as Bedouins and attacked with guns and rocket-propelled grenades. 35 attackers took part in this attack on the Egyptian base.
Operation Sinai 
August 2012 attack on Egyptian armed forces triggered a crackdown, led by the Egyptian Army, Police special forces and the Air Force, sweeping Sinai from Jihadist terrorist militants. During the operation 32 militants and suspects killed, 38 arrested; while 2 civilians were killed (by early September 2012).
May 2013 hostage crisis 
On May 2013, a number of Egyptian Army police officers were taken hostage by armed tribesmen in the Sinai peninsula, with their videos released on the internet begging for their lives. As a response, Egypt’s government had built up security forces in northern Sinai as part of an effort to secure the release of six policemen and a border guard kidnapped by suspected militants. On May 20-21, Egyptian troops and police, backed by helicopter gunships, conducted a sweep through a number of villages in northern Sinai, along the border with Israel. The officials said the forces came under fire from gunmen in vehicles, triggering the clashes. The clashes left one gunman dead by May 21.
Casualties since late July 2011: 28–36 Egyptian troops and 4 civilians killed; 3 Israeli soldiers and 7 civilians killed; 55 Islamist militants and armed tribesmen killed. Total 97-105 mortal casualties.
- 30 July 2011, 6 Egyptian security forces killed.
- 14 August-September 2011, Operation Eagle: 1 Islamist militant and 2 civilians killed
- 15 August 2011, 1 Islamist militant killed, 6 captured.
- 17 August 2011, 2 Bedouins killed in unclear circumstances.
- 18 August 2011, 2011 southern Israel cross-border attacks, 6 Israeli civilians and two soldiers and 5 Egyptian soldiers killed, as well as 10 attackers.
- 18 June 2012, 1 Israeli civilian killed and 2 wounded by an attack on Israeli-Egyptian border fence.
- 5 August 2012, 2012 Egyptian–Israeli border attack, 16-24 Egyptian soldiers and 8 Islamist militants killed.
- 7 August 2012-, Operation Sinai (2012) - 32 militants and suspects killed, 38 arrested; 2 civilians killed (by early September 2012).
- 8 August 2012–20 militants killed in Sinai.
- 12 August 2012–7 suspected militants killed.
- 13 August 2012–armed men shot dead tribal leader Khalaf Al-Menahy and his son.
- 29 August 2012–Egyptian Army tanks and helicopters attack Jihadi cells, resulting in 11 dead militants and 23 more taken prisoner with no reported military casualties.
- 21 September 2012 - 1 Israeli soldier and 3 Islamist militants killed.
- 3 November 2012 - 3 Egyptian policemen killed.
- 16 April 2013 - gunmen kill 1 Egyptian policeman.
- 7 May 2013 - 1 Egyptian civilian killed by Islamist gunmen.
- 21 May 2013 - 1 gunman killed in clashes.
The 1979 Camp David Accords, which established peace between Egypt and Israel, mandates that the Sinai must remain demilitarized.
During the beginning of the operation in 2011, Israel allowed the deployment of thousands of troops in the Sinai, with helicopters and armored vehicles, but not tanks.
However, concern began to be raised as Egypt began deploying more force and tanks without coordination from Israel. On 21 August, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that it is important for Israel to make sure that the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty is upheld, and not to remain silent as Egyptian military forces enter the Sinai. Concern was raised by Israeli officials over Egyptian failure to notify Israel about the deployment of tanks in the Sinai, which violates the peace treaty. Lieberman said, "We must make sure that every detail is upheld, otherwise we'll find ourselves in a slippery slope as far as the peace treaty is concerned."
On the same day, Israeli daily Maariv reported that Israel sent a message to Egypt via the White House, protesting Egypt's ongoing increase in military presence in the Sinai without coordination from Israel, and telling Egypt that it must remove tanks from the Sinai because their presence violates the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1979, which states that Sinai Peninsula is to remain demilitarized. The Israeli daily Maariv reported was reinforced by an article in The New York Times, which stated that Israel was “troubled” by the entry of Egyptian tanks into the northern Sinai Peninsula without coordination with Israel and had asked Egypt to withdraw them. Partly due to Egypt's military deploying tanks in the Sinai Peninsula, Israel is increasingly worried about what has long been their most critical regional relationship. The lack of coordination around their deployment is seen as potentially undermining a peace treaty that has been a cornerstone of Israel’s security for decades according to the New York Times. Israel is also concerned that Egypt may use Operation Eagle to build up its military presence in the Sinai, and leave the tanks and armored carriers in the Sinai while not doing much more than symbolic action to eliminate the terrorist threat.
Israel has not issuesd a formal complaint, and instead prefers to resolve the issue through quiet contacts, as well as mediation from the U.S., to avoid straining its relationship with Egypt.
On 24 August 2012, a senior Egyptian military source said that Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak have reached an agreement on the issue of the militarization of the Sinai. Al Hayat reported that Sissi phoned Barak and said that Egypt was committed to maintaining the peace treaty with Israel. Sissi also said that the militarization was temporary, and was needed for security and to fight terrorism. However, an Israeli defense official denied that such a conversation took place.
In late August 2012, Egyptian President Morsi said that the security operations do not threaten anyone, and "there should not be any kind of international or regional concerns at all from the presence of Egyptian security forces." Morsi added that the campaign was in "full respect to international treaties," although the Egyptian-Israeli peace deal places limits on Egyptian military deployment in the Sinai.
On 8 September, an Israeli official confirmed that coordination exists between Israel and Egypt regarding Operation Eagle. Egyptian Military spokesman Ahmed Mohammed Ali had earlier announced that Egypt has been consulting with Israel regarding its security measures in the Sinai.
United States 
According to CNN, in a move to increase security in the Sinai, help Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, and reassure Israel, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is offering Egypt classified intelligence-sharing capabilities to help Egypt identify military threats in the area, which he discussed during his recent trips to Egypt and Israel. The technology has been widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify vehicles at great distances. The technology may also be used by the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai. The United States is also offering increased intelligence sharing, including satellite imagery and drone flights, as well as cellphone intercepts and other communications among militants suspected of plotting attacks.
On 22 August, the State Department urged Egypt to be transparent over Operation Eagle and any security operations in the Sinai. The State Department said that the United States supports Operation Eagle against terrorism, but stressed that Egypt must continue coordination with Israel regarding these operations and military increases in the Sinai, according to the 1979 Camp David Accords. The State Department also called on Egypt to fulfill its obligations under the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and deal strongly with security threats in the Sinai, while ensuring that "lines of communication stay open."
On 23 August, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, urged Amr to maintain lines of communication with Israel, and emphasized the importance of being transparent over the militarization of the Sinai.
Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai 
The Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, a 1650-strong international organization created in 1979 during the Camp David Accords with peacekeeping responsibilities, kept a low profile during the intensification of Operation Eagle in 2012. A representative for the organization said that "we are unable to respond to queries from the media at this time" in response to whether Egypt asked permission to move weaponry into the Sinai, and whether Israel granted it.
See also 
- "Egypt releases data on Sinai insurgents: 1,600, most linked to Al Qaida". World News Tribune. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- Awad, Marwa (16 August 2011). "Egypt army operation nets militants in Sinai-sources". Reuters Africa (Cairo). Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- Hassan, Amro (17 August 2011). "Nearly 20 alleged gas pipeline saboteurs arrested". Los Angeles Times (Cairo). Retrieved 19 August 2011. "Concerns over the security situation in Sinai intensified on 2 August when a group referring to itself as Al Qaeda's wing in Sinai called for the creation of an Islamic caliphate in the peninsula."
- No byline. "Egyptian Who Shot 7 is Dead". The New York Times. 8 January 1986. URL accessed on 31 December 2006.
- Yaakov Katz (6 August 2012). "The Sinai attack: Blow by blow". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Egypt vows strong response to Sinai attack". Al Jazeera. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- Yoav Zitun (6 August 2012). "Watch: IAF strikes Sinai terror cell". Yedioth Ahronot. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- Yaakov Katz and Herb Keinon (6 August 2012). "Israel considers request for more Egyptian troops in Sinai". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
- "UPDATED: Egyptian troops strike hard in North Sinai after multiple attacks". Al Ahram. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Terror attack in the south". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- "Egyptian forces kill 11 militants in Sinai". CNN. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Barak agrees to Egypt deploying troops, vehicles in Sinai". Jpost. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- Herb Keinon (9 August 2012). "Security cabinet okays Egypt attack helicopters in Sinai". Reuters. The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Somfalvi, Attila (21 August 2012). "Lieberman: Don't let Egypt get away with violations". Yedioth Ahronot. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Kershner, Isabel (21 August 2012). "Israel Asks Egypt to Remove Tanks From Sinai". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Rudoren, Jodi (22 August 2012). "Developments in Iran and Sinai Deepen Israel’s Worries About Egypt". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Winer, Stuart (21 August 2012). "After buildup, Israel tells Egypt to remove tanks from Sinai". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Clinton urges Egypt, Israel to talk on Sinai". Reuters. The Jerusalem Post. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Davidovitch, Joshua (24 August 2012). "Barak and Egyptian counterpart reportedly come to terms over Sinai offensive". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Egypt tells Israel military presence in Sinai is temporary". The Times of Israel. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Morsi's message to Israel: No reason for concern". Yedioth Ahronot. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- Shmulovich, Michal (8 September 2012). "Egypt says it has killed 32 ‘criminals’ and arrested 38 since Sinai terror attack". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "CNN: US offers Egyptian army intelligence aid for Sinai battles". Israel Hayom; Reuters. Israel Hayom. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Winer, Stuart; Ben Zion, Ilan (22 August 2012). "Washington calls for Egyptian transparency amid military buildup in Sinai". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- "US urges Egypt to retake control of Sinai". The Jerusalem Post. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Keinon, Herb (21 August 2012). "Int'l force in Sinai quiet amid concern of Egypt violations". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 21 August 2012.