A group of Salafists operating in the Sinai has threatened to take retaliatory measures against the Egyptian army if the latter continued its "aggression against the indigenous population" in the Peninsula. "Blood was shed on Sinai, and the cruel aggression of the Egyptian army leads us to take retaliatory measures. It is not our fight, it is not our war, but we will have to meet aggression and injustice, " read a statement Thursday by the Salafists.
On August 5, a border post near the town of Rafah (Sinai) was attacked by a group of Islamists who killed 16 Egyptian military. According to Cairo, the group included 35 fighters, members of organizations closely linked to the Salafist movement.
One day later, the Egyptian army launched a major operation against militants in the Sinai. Yet, the Salafists deny attacking the Rafah border crossing and lay the blame on Israel. An Islamist group had previously claimed responsibility for numerous bombing attacks against a pipeline carrying gas to Israel via the Sinai, as well as rocket attacks against Israel, particularly against the resort town of Eilat.
Commenting on the statement by the Salafis in Sinai, the spokesman of the radical organization of the Gama'a al-Islamiya, Tareq al-Zumar, said that this message "highlighted the possibility of further military actions on the border between Egypt and Israel ".