Foreign Policy Blogs

Egypt Deploys Troops to the Sinai Peninsula as Israel Threatens Response; Today in History.

Egypt Deploys Troops to the Sinai Peninsula as Israel Threatens Response; Today in History.On this date in 1967, President Abdul Nasser of Egypt orders the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) in Egypt to disband. In 1957, Egypt had decided to nationalize the Suez Canal, imposing severe economic complications on Israel and her allies. Mounting circumstances resulted in the eventual invasion of the Sinai Peninsula by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). UNEF troops were deployed to the area to keep the peace following tense diplomatic efforts. Escalations continued in the area throughout the 60's. Throughout early 1967, Egyptian and United Arab Republic (Syria) forces concentrated their forces in the area and Nasser demanded UNEF forces withdraw in order to prevent UN casualties. The UN had attempted to redeploy UNEF to the Israeli side of the border, but the Israeli government refused. The Israelis saw Arab actions as a strategic move against its interests and launched a pre-emptive attack on Egyptian air defenses on June 5, marking the beginning of the Six-Day War. Six UNEF troops were killed during the conflict.

Complications from the Six-Day War remain today. In May, the Egyptian Foreign Minister demanded a formal inquiry into allegations that IDF had murdered some 400 Egyptian and Palestinian POW's during the Six-Day War. Israel's current Infrastructure Prime Minister, Binyamin Ben Eliezer, was the leader of the IDF unit alleged to have committed the atrocities. The Arab coordinator with the International Criminal Court has stated it will file suit against Ben Eliezer at the ICC if Egypt fails to do so. Recently, Ben Eliezer has stated that Israel will continue to engage in "liquidation fire" against suspected Palestinian militants. This is contentious activity on behalf of the Israeli's as "liquidation fire" is tantamount to assassination attempts, most which occur in civilian areas.

Israel today mounted an aerial attack against a HAMAS security headquarters, killing two and wounding several others. Forces from the US backed Fatah movement and HAMAS officials have been fighting for weeks, threatening the further destabilize the region.

Today also marks the day in 1983 when Israel, Lebanon and the United States signed an agreement for Israeli withdraw from Lebanon. In June, 2006, members from the military wing of Hezb'Allah crossed into Israel and captured IDF soldiers, sparking a war between Hezb'Allah and Israel.

It is also the birthday of the Ayatollah Khomenei.

On a personal note, it is also Alan Johnston's birthday today.  He is the BBC report stationed in the Gaza Strip and was taken hostage months ago.  As I listen to BBC World Service all day, I wish him a sincere happy birthday.  Please sign the petition on the right in his support.



Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors