Human rights activist and head of the Integrity Foundation for Humanitarian and Human Rights, Essam Youssef, believes that Israel is benefitting from the instability in Sinai at a time when Palestinian reconciliation is being achieved.
In an interview with Quds Press today, Youssef stated that the attacks on security checkpoints and members of the Egyptian army in Sinai, carried out by militants, are increasing in brutality and frequency and aim to disturb the relationship which has witnessed positive developments between Egypt and Gaza. "These developments recently led to reaping the fruit of the Palestinian reconciliation."
"The fact that timing of these attacks coincide with the Israeli claims of rockets being fired into the Eshkolot settlement, surrounding Gaza, indicates the implication of Israeli hands working behind the scenes and publically to thwart the Egyptian-Palestinian rapprochement," he added.
According to Youssef: "This rapprochement had positive results on the Palestinian situation, as Egypt made great efforts to make sure the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah succeeded."
This concerns and worries Israel, which considers the reconciliation a threat to it and provides momentum and strength to the Palestinian people and their leadership in their fight to regain their seized rights.
"Israel has not felt comfortable since the Egyptian army entered Sinai to combat terrorist gangs in the area. Furthermore, Cairo's major role in achieving the Palestinian-Palestinian reconciliation recently, also made Israel uneasy."
Read: Egypt's war on Sinai
"The attacks in Sinai push us to look at who is benefitting from these events at such a sensitive phase, when the Egyptian national security and Palestinians besieged in Gaza are losing the most. This is especially the case after Egypt backed down from opening the Rafah crossing, which was scheduled to last from Monday to Thursday for humanitarian cases to cross, in the wake of these attacks," said Youssef.
Youssef urged the Egyptian authorities to strengthen its ties with the people, open up to its Arab surroundings, as well as move forward in its efforts to follow through with the Palestinian reconciliation to the end.
He added that thwarting terrorist plans are one of the main means of combatting terrorism, noting that closing the Rafah crossing is part of these plans. He called on the Egyptian authorities to open the crossing.