Al Qaeda Salafists target kibbutz and IDF post on second day of strikes

Kibbutz Kholit opposite the Egyptian-Gazan-Israeli border junction and an IDF post in the Kissufim border area further north were selected by al Qaeda as its next targets Monday, Aug. 28, debkafile reveals – although the official IDF communiqué only mentioned the Qassam rocket which exploded outside Sderot that morning. None caused casualties but they did damage military installations.
IDF Southern Command officers criticized the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for deciding to keep the latest round of al Qaeda-linked attacks from Gaza quiet. They warned that by burying their heads in the sand they were borrowing trouble. “Al Qaeda’s Salafis are made of different metal from Hamas and Jihad Islami,” they said. “If we let them get away with it and hush up their attacks, they’ll redouble them, because they’ll see their tactic for holding Israel hostage as their lever for bending the Egyptians to their will is working."
debkafile’s military and counter-terror sources disclose exclusively that Kibbutz Kholit and the army base were struck deliberately on the day that Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Chief of Staff Gen. Sidky Soby arrived in Sinai for a conference with Sinai’s Bedouin tribal chiefs at the small port town of A-Tur on the Gulf of Suez coast.
Officially, the visit was described as an inspection tour in advance of the oft-promised major Egyptian military offensive to root the terrorist cells out of Sinai. In fact it was Cairo’s third attempt to strike a deal with the Salafists and Bedouin of Sinai. A Muslim Brotherhood delegation was in Sinai last week, followed by emissaries of President Mohamed Morsi, among whom were members of the violent Al Gama’a al-Islamiya (which was responsible for assassinating President Anwar al Sadat in 1981).
All three visits were presented to the Salafis and Bedouin chiefs as Cairo’s last bid to win them round for a deal that would avert a full-scale military offensive against them.
Al Qaeda’s cells and associates had their answer ready: The missile volleys from Gaza against Kibbutz Kholit and the IDF base informed Cairo that unless Egypt leaves them alone and lets up on the pressure, they will add the Israeli villages and military personnel along the Gaza border to their list of targets for missile strikes, after first hitting Sderot and Eilat.
Read the earlier debkafile report on the evolving Al Qaeda offensive from Sinai and the Gaza Strip as a new branch of the terrorist campaign waged by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – AQAP.

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