This isn’t just another terrorist attack – it’s a major escalation. First, it is the bitter fruit of the U.S-backed downfall of the government of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, opening the Egypt-Israel border as a new front in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Second, it is probably the first successful al-Qaeda attack on Israel. (The Palestinian Popular Committees, a Gaza-based al-Qaeda affiliate, is the prime suspect.)
According to several eyewitnesses, the attackers were wearing Egyptian army uniforms. The post-Mubarak successor regime is not so committed to the Egypt-Israel peace. This is not just an isolated incident but the opening of a new phase. It will get worse. An important question is how decisively will the Egyptian military react and how supportive of the attack will be Egyptian public opinion.
Nothing can be expected from Washington except words of dismay. The Egyptian regime will assure everyone that it is committed to the peace treaty and will take strong action. But what will happen when the military hands over power to a parliament with an Islamist/far-left majority in a few months? Anyone want to hand over Israel’s West Bank border to sovereign Palestinian control?
(Barry Rubin – Pajamas Media)