Today Thursday July 11, Israel gave final approval for a major Egyptian offensive against Islamic Extremists in Sinai.
The offensive will begin when Egypt and Israel are fully ready for a fight in Sinai and Gaza, which now appears to be very close at hand.
A senior Egyptian official said Thursday that over the past few days, at least 150 Ezz a-Din al-Qassam operatives (members of the Gaza-based Hamas military wing) were seen heading into Sinai via tunnels.
Egyptian security forces have already killed and arrested around 200 militants in the Sinai Peninsula, including killing 32 Hamas operatives and arresting another forty-five.
Maj.-Gen. Wasfi arrived in Sinai just four days ago to set up headquarters for the offensive in the northern town of El Arish.
Yesterday he was ambushed in the first attempt by radical Islamists to murder a high-ranking Egyptian general. As a close associate of Defense Minister Gen. Fattah El-Sisi, Wasfi took part in the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo on July 3.
Around 30 Islamist gunmen laid in ambush for his convoy Wednesday as the cars drove past Sheikh Zuwayed, southwest of El Arish.
The convoy came under attack by rocket propelled grenades, anti-tank rockets and explosive devices. A minivan then drove the length of the convoy firing heavy machine guns.
A fierce shootout ensued in which a number of attackers died, Egyptian military sources say. The minivan’s driver was captured and is under interrogation.
On Tuesday, at the same location, two buses carrying Colombian peacemakers serving with the multinational force-MFO at the Sheikh Zuwayed base were also waylaid and shot up.
Only a few days ago the Egyptian army poured into Sinai, from the Suez Canal towns of Port Said and Ismailia ahead of the anti extremist offensive.
On the other side of the Sinai border, Israeli Defense Forces are heavily deployed along the Sinai and Gaza border fences and in the southernmost sector of Eilat.
Israeli forces are on high alert on intelligence that the armed Islamist extremists plan to respond to the Egyptian assault by attacking Israel.
Israel is expected to use the coming events as an excuse to implement their long planned invasion of Gaza. The Egyptian take down of Islamic extremism in Sinai and the Israeli occupation of Gaza is planned to totally defeat Islamic Extremism in the area.
Israel has also moved heavy contingents of armor and troops to the northern border to be ready for an attack by Hezbollah and or Syria.
This offensive against radical Islam is expected to lead to a battle with Hezbollah destroying radical Islam in the north of Israel as well. Regime change in Syria and Iran may also come in consequence of this conflict; resetting the regional conditions for a genuine dialogue for peace.