The Associated Press issued the shocking report this afternoon. In reaction to a terrorist threat from the Sinai Desert against the Israeli city of Eilat, Israel launched a drone attack which killed five terrorists and and destroyed a rocket launcher in the Egyptian territory. The shocking part is that, according to the AP report, was made in cooperation with the Egyptian Military.

Egyptian security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information, said the Israeli attack was launched in cooperation with Egyptian authorities despite past insistence that the government would not allow other countries to use its territories to launch attacks.

According to Jon Williams of ABC News, IDF sources confirmed the AP Story.

Reuters also reported the story about an Israeli strike was true.

Four Islamist militants were killed by a missile strike in Egypt’s North Sinai region on Friday as they prepared to launch rockets at Israel, Egyptian security sources said.

Five security sources told Reuters the attack was carried out by Israel.

But On the Other Hand…

Israel’s YNET News says the Turkish news agency claimed eyewitnesses saw Egyptian army helicopters bombing the terrorists training facility in the al-Ajra area south of
Egyptian Rafah near the Gaza border. 

The Times of Israel reported the AP Story but then concurred that it was an Egyptian attack. 

A senior Egyptian official told The Times of Israel that the strike was
carried out by the Egyptian military, and not the IDF. He spoke on
condition of anonymity and his comments could not be verified by other

The Egyptian army released a  statement, saying reports suggesting an Israeli drone was responsible were false.

“The claim that there is coordination between the Egyptian and Israeli sides on this matter is totally false and contrary to reason and logic,” an army spokesman said.

And the IDF per is normal practice refused to confirm or deny.

So what the heck is going on? As discussed last month when Reuters filed the bogus story about Israel agreeing to return the the 1949 Armistice lines before any talks with the Palestinians, when dealing with the Middle East, the first rule is–one must be very,
very careful not to believe initial reports. Breaking Mid East news history is laden with  examples of untrue leaks and stories for  one side to gain and
advantage over the other, or one political party over another, or simply
false hope.

When considering Mid East news you must also evaluate the political positions of each party. In this case it might very well be true that it was an Israeli drone attacking the terrorists. It may also be true that Egypt’s military cooperated in the raid.

A terrorist attack on Eilat would be ammunition for those who oppose overturning the Morsi Govt.  They could claim that the military doesn’t have a handle on Egyptian security.

The reaction of Egypt vehemently denying the Israeli involvement has no bearing over whether the story was true or false.  The last thing the temporary govt. of Egypt wants is for its people to think they allowed an Israeli strike on its territory.

In the end, I tend to believe the strike was along the lines of the AP report, but as with most Middle East stories along these lines, it will be months (or even years) before we know the truth.