Egypt Warns It May Target Gaza

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Egyptian government says it's considering targeted attacks on the terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

The announcement comes on the heels of another shooting attack against Egyptian troops Thursday morning that wounded three soldiers.

Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said Egypt is considering a military response against Gaza-based terror cells initiating the attacks, the Palestinian Authority's official Ma'an news agency reported.

According to the report, Egyptian reconnaissance aircraft photographed sites near Rafah and Khan Younis for possible airstrikes and "all options are still open to Egypt."

Egyptian military officials say half the attacks against its security forces originate in the Sinai and half in the Gaza Strip, specifically naming Hamas and Ansar al-Sunna terror groups in Gaza.

In his weekly commentary, Dr. Aaron Lerner, director of the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA), said Egypt's threats are not "a matter of Egyptian altruism."

"The Gaza Strip is a primary source of forces and support for those engaged now in a bloody struggle against Egypt in the Sinai," Lerner wrote.

But its proximity to Israeli civilians and military bases means the Israel Defense Forces must keep close tabs on Gaza and the Sinai.

The 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt stipulates that the Sinai Peninsula be a military free zone. While former President Hosni Mubarak didn't take enough initiative against terror cells in the Sinai, the situation grew much more critical under Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Following Morsi's ouster, Israel agreed to allow Egypt to deploy troops to the Sinai to curb the terror activity there. That includes sealing off the arms smuggling tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai and tracking down terror cells in the vast stretches of desert.

Meanwhile, the IDF must ensure that Egypt doesn't compromise Israel's security.

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