ATbar Pelham, Nicolas

Pelham, Nicolas

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In Sinai: The Uprising of the Bedouin


It is not at all sure that the ruling Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement will have the political will to take the necessary economic and political measures to alleviate the situation of the Bedouins and clamp down on the salafis, jihadists and radical Palestinians in Sinai, among other because of the counter pressure on them from the Egyptian salafi movement and its more violent elements.

The situation in the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood branch Hamas rules with an iron fist since 2006, salafi and jihadist organizations and groups have largely proliferated under its umbrella, generally cooperating with Hamas's goals of attacking and destroying Israel and Islamizing Palestine and sometimes challenging its present "moderation" or pragmatism. The latest conflict in Gaza which led to the Israeli "Pillar of Defense" Operation testifies to this trend and threat and bodes bad for the future of Sinai.

In a way, the situation in Gaza resembles the situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban were militarily supported by al-Qaeda in the fight against their local enemies and then gave it freedom of action on its territory to build the jihadist Golem of September 11.

The fact is that in the West Bank, due to the activities of the Israeli and Palestinian Authority security agencies, there is no such salafi/jihadi phenomenon.

First published by The New York Review of Books


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