Egyptian TV 'experts' blame Israel
Egypt suspects Israel of hotel bombings
Several Egyptian "security experts" and "political analysts" interviewed by Arab TV stations after the Sharm e-Sheikh bombings on Saturday claimed that Israel and Jews were behind the carnage.
The accusations were made despite a claim of responsibility by a group citing ties to al-Qaida, according to a statement posted on an Islamic Web site.
Similar charges have been made against Israel in the past, particularly after the suicide attack at the Taba Hilton Hotel in October 2004 and after the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.
However, most Egyptian government officials refrained from accusing Israel, pointing out that extremist Muslim groups were most likely responsible for the attacks.
Shortly after the attacks, Egypt's state-run television interviewed retired army general Fuad Allam. He said that he was almost certain that Israel was behind the attacks at Sharm e-Sheikh and Taba.
According to Fuad, investigations have shown that the mastermind of the Taba attack was a Palestinian "apparently linked to Israel's security forces." He added: "I'm almost certain that Israel was also behind this attack because they want to undermine our government and deal a severe blow to our economy. The only ones who benefit from these attacks are the Israelis and the Americans."
Allam's remarks were reaired several times during the day by Egyptian TV. Other commentators who made similar charges against Israel included political figures and prominent journalists.
Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, the Arab world's leading satellite TV stations, also hosted a number of commentators who claimed that Israel was behind the latest wave of terror in Egypt.
Dia Rashwan, an expert on Islamic terror groups, said in a phone interview with Al-Arabiya from Cairo: "Israel is the only country that benefits from this."
Dismissing the theory that al-Qaida was behind the attacks, Rashwan explained: "We are giving al-Qaida more credit than it deserves. What happened here negates the possibility that the attacks were carried out by ordinary elements. This is the work of an extraordinary element – one that benefits from such attacks. All the available details indicate that only the Israelis could have done this."
Majdi Birnawi, another "security expert," told Al-Jazeera that "I believe that Mossad or some other [Israeli] security organization carried out this attack."
Birnawi said he believed Saturday's attacks were in response to the attack at the Taba Hilton, in which 12 Israelis were killed. "Everyone knows that there are no Israelis in Sharm e-Sheikh," he said. "There are only Western tourists there. That's why it's wrong to assume that the perpetrators were targeting Israelis."
Jerusalem Post, "Egyptian TV 'experts' blame Israel", 24 July 2005.
The Insider, "Iran suspects Israel of London attacks", 11 July 2005.
The Insider, "Egyptian government not properly investigating hotel bombs", 25 July 2005.
BBC News, "Egypt denies Pakistan bomb link", 26 July 2005.
Egypt has ruled out any Pakistani role in last Saturday's resort bombings, the country's ambassador in Islamabad says.
BBCNews, "Pope terror 'snub' angers Israel", 25 July 2005.
Israel has summoned the Vatican's ambassador to explain why the Pope left the country off a list of those recently hit by terrorism.
Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday deplored attacks in "countries including Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Britain".
Israel said he had failed to mention a 12 July suicide bombing in Netanya that killed five Israelis.
The foreign ministry said it would be interpreted as "granting legitimacy to... terrorist attacks against Jews".
"We expected that the new Pope, who on taking office emphasised the importance he places on relations between the Church and the Jewish people, would behave differently," the ministry said in a statement.
[No wonder Israel is angry. Somebody went to a great deal of trouble to arrange a series of attacks at around the same time. How could the Pope fail to get the message that Israel's enemies have become everybody's enemies?]
"The Insider" mailing list article, 26 July 2005.
Tags: Egypt, bombings, hotels, bombs, acused, Israel, terrorist, attacks, suspects, Israeli, Mossad, Sharm e-Sheikh, Jews, terror, , conspiracy theories.