Israeli PM on Egypt: Terror Knocking at Our Border
JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Egyptian army says it has killed scores of Islamic State-linked fighters following multiple attacks on military posts in the Sinai Peninsula. ISIS-linked terrorists are part of an insurgency to overthrow the Egyptian government.
Smoke hung over Egypt's northern Sinai after the Islamic State's affiliate killed dozens of Egyptian soldiers.
In an online post, the terror group called the operation a "blessed raid" and accused Egyptian forces of being an "apostate army."
The Egyptian army countered with multiple airstrikes, saying it killed nearly 100 jihadists.
Former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel said the Egyptian military response showed a huge intelligence failure and a lack of military expertise.
"I think now we understand that the Egyptian army is incapable of fighting strongly against guerilla tactics," Mazel told CBN News. "They need some help, some assistance and it can come only from the United States, and as we know, Obama has refused to do it."
Islamic terrorists have killed hundreds of security forces since the Egyptian army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, a lifetime member of the Muslim Brotherhood, in 2013.
The takeover followed street demonstrations by upwards of 30 million people opposing the attempt to transform Egypt to an Islamic caliphate.
"Egypt is the anchor -- the basis of the Middle East -- and if the Obama administration doesn't understand it, we are in trouble, Egypt is in trouble, Israel is also in trouble, and Europe is in trouble," Mazel warned.
Meanwhile, Israel is watching the developments at its border with the Sinai very closely. It has beefed up IDF troops there and closed the border crossings with Egypt.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent condolences to the Egyptian government and the people, especially those whose loved ones were slain by the terrorists.
He also warned Israelis that "terrorism is knocking at our borders" and affirmed Israel's support for Egypt and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
"We are together with Egypt and many other states in the Middle East and the world in the struggle against extreme Islamic terrorism," he said.
"We see ISIS [Islamic State] at the gates -- across the border in the Golan, across the border in Egypt," Netanyahu said. "We must stand up to all the forces of militant Islam, those led by Iran, those led by ISIS. We should not strengthen one or the other. We should weaken both of them."