The Taba checkpoint, an important gateway in the Sinai Peninsula between Israel and Egypt, will remain closed to Israelis until further notice, according to Tel Aviv.
Alleged perpetrator of IS attack on checkpoint near St. Catherine Monastery killed by security forces
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack on a security checkpoint near St. Catherine Monastery in South Sinai that occurred late Tuesday night.
The Israeli government said it would close the Taba crossing linking the occupied territories to Egypt’s Sinai until April 18, following explosions in two major churches in Egypt on Sunday that killed 45 people and injured over 100 others.
Israel has urged its citizens not to travel to Egypt’s Sinai, and called on its national who are currently in Sinai to leave promptly due to upcoming expected attacks by Islamic State (IS).
More than two-dozen people died in mid-Sinai on Thursday during crossfire between security forces and armed militants, according to a statement by Egypt’s military spokesperson, including 10 security personnel and 15 militants.
As the Egyptian military struggles to contain the Islamic State (IS) affiliate in Sinai, Wilayat Sinai, its already forceful response is becoming more heavy-handed. Increased reliance on heavy weaponry and air power is contributing to a rise in civilian causalities and inflaming anti-government sentiment.
US ambassador to Cairo Stephen Beecroft, said on Saturday that there is cooperation on the level of military leaders between the United States and Egypt to eliminate terrorism in the Sinai peninsula.
Forces affiliated to the third field army managed on Monday to kill seven militants in a large-scale sweeping operation conducted in central Sinai. Three other militants were injured in the operation, according to a statement issued by army’s official spokesperson.
As part of the ongoing sweeping operations conducted by the second field army in different parts of North Sinai following the massive exodus of Coptic families from Al-Arish city, Sunday’s operations resulted in the death of four militants, according to a statement issued on Monday by the army spokesperson.
As a continuation of the large scale army operations in North and Central Sinai, forces affiliated with the third field army on Saturday managed to arrest 12 militants during a sweeping operation in Central Sinai, a statement issued by the army’s official spokesperson said.