"We demand an official apology," a senior Egyptian Foreign Ministry
official was quoted as saying by Egyptian state television.
Officials said Hamas-aligned attacks in eastern and southern Sinai on Aug. 18 have
not affected the rest of the Egyptian peninsula. They said Egyptian security
forces were protecting the large number of tourists in the area.
On Aug. 19, officials said Egyptian Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Anan
arrived in Sinai and toured military outposts. They said Anan has ordered an
investigation of the killing of five Border Guard officers in the clashes
along the Gaza and Israeli borders.
"Egyptian Army and security bodies are monitoring what is taking place
on borders and taking all necessary measure to protect coastal cities,"
South Sinai Gov. Maj. Gen. Khaled Fouda said on Aug. 20.
[The Egyptian assertion came amid escalated rocket strikes from the Gaza
Strip on Israel. On Aug. 20, at least one Israeli was killed and 13 Israeli
others injured amid missile and rocket salvos on Ashkelon and Beersheba.]
Fouda told Egyptian state television that the Palestinian attacks in
eastern Sinai were not harming security. He said authorities remained in
control of the peninsula.
The statement on Aug. 19 came amid a spate of Palestinian attacks in
which more than a dozen people were killed in less than 24 hours. During the
previous day, eight Israelis were killed in a Hamas-aligned strike near the
Israeli southern port city of Eilat.
Four of the suspected attackers, were killed by Israel and the Egyptian
Army. An Al Qaida-aligned group, Abdullah Azzam Brigades, has claimed
responsibility, but Israel has identified the Hamas-aligned Popular
Resistance Committees as having directed the operation.
The new military regime in Cairo has come under pressure from Israel and
the United States to stop insurgency strikes from Sinai. But Egyptian
officials said it remained uncertain whether the Palestinian squad came from
Sinai amid the deployment of thousands of police and border guards
throughout the peninsula.