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PA daily op-ed: Western allies and Israel, not ISIS, behind explosion of Russian plane in Sinai

Op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, columnist for official PA daily
: “Plane draws a new horizon”
      “The explosion of the Russian plane 23 minutes after its takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh airport in the end of October, was not an ISIS operation but a terror operation orchestrated by international and regional security services. The announcements made by American spokespersons are the best proof of that; The first statement made by American institutions said that they [the US] intercepted phone calls between ISIS and a country in the region. The following day, they withdrew the statement and released a different one, according to which the intercepted phone calls were between Takfir organizations (i.e., those defining other Muslims as unbelievers). The American statements were consistent with the Israeli and British statements. Eventually [they] demanded to intervene in the investigations directly, in order to ‘shuffle the deck’ and eliminate the findings made by the Russians and the Egyptians.
If the rational estimations point to [the presence of] fingerprints of Western and Israeli security services, that leaves much room for questions, such as: Why was the operation carried out precisely against the Russian plane? What is the significance? What messages are the institutions behind the operation trying to convey? Are the messages intended for Egypt, Russia, or both? Does the operation signify a significant turning point in the secret conflict between the allies? And does this terror operation entail the drawing of new horizons in the Egyptian and Arab policy?
I must stress once again, that ISIS was not the one behind the destruction of the Russian plane on Oct. 31, [2015], above Sinai. There is no intention here to absolve the Takfir organizations from the possibility they would carry out a terror operation, but this operation was beyond their capabilities, because of its meticulous implementation, the statements released after the explosion of the plane, and what is secretly happening between the different countries, and clearly indicate that the operation was carried out by regional and international security services…

In that case, what is the objective?
A. To strike a blow to Egyptian tourism which constitutes 14.8 percent of the Gross National Income.
B. To strike a blow to Russian tourism in Egypt, which constitutes 35 percent of its tourism in total. [Russia] takes first place (in terms of number of tourists to Egypt –Ed.).
C. To question Egypt's military ability to keep Egyptian cities and tourist attractions safe.
D. To leave a dark stain on the relations between Egypt and Russia.
E. To intensify the economic woes of the new regime [in Egypt], depriving it of any chance of recovery.

The messages intended for Egypt and Russia are [for] the following [purposes]:
A. To warn Egypt of the consequences of its policy, which is uncoordinated with the US and Israel.
B. To threaten with a hard stick (terror) [parenthesis in source] in order to strike at the pillars of Egyptian economy.
C. To direct Russia’s attention to the dangers posed by its spreading into the Arab states in the region, especially Egypt, Syria and Iraq.
D. To remind them that the long arm across the Middle East still belongs to the US and Israel.
E. To harm any kind of alliance between Egypt and Russia, or to put it through difficult and complex tests.

This new terror operation did not come out of nowhere, but rather came as a result of the US and its allies in Western Europe and Israel monitoring the Egyptian regime’s deviation from the framework they find acceptable. This deviation is not permitted, because these new tendencies affect the Israeli and American strategic tendencies negatively, and because they entail a serious threat to the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, signed between [Former Egyptian President Anwar] Sadat and [Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem] Begin in 1979.”
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