A new Egyptian crisis arena: the Egyptian and Israeli armies Friday, July 5, raised their alert levels on either side of the Sinai border after the Muslim Brotherhood declared Sinai its center of revolt and revenge for the Egyptian army’s ouster of Mohamed Morsi as president Wednesday, July 3.
Following a multiple Islamist attack in northern Sinai, the Egyptian army went on high alert in the Suez and North Sinai provinces. The Sinai border crossings to the Gaza Strip and Israel were closed. The army spokesman in Cairo denied declaring an emergency – only a heightened alert.
Israel has imposed a blackout on news from this tense region, but DEBKAfile reports reinforcements were sent in Friday to boost the IDF units standing ready along the Egyptian border.
Egyptian forces also shut down all three underground passages running from the mainland to Sinai under the Suez Canal. Egypt’s Third Army was deployed to secure them, under the command of Maj. Gen. Osama Askar.
Further measures imposed for guarding Suez Canal cargo and oil shipping against possible rocket fire from central Sinai included the stationing along its banks of Patriot anti-missile batteries and anti-air weapons systems, according to DEBKAfile’s military sources.