General Middle East Sitrep August 10, 2014

HOLY LAND
Hamas proposal for a port included a “port of Gaza” run by the EU or NATO at Cyprus. Ships would be searched and then sent on their way or escorted to Gaza. Israel almost agreed except that many Israelis marry there so maybe that is why they nixed it. Security risk to Israel is very low.
EGYPT
In Sinai, the Salafist-jihadis have been on a campaign to kill tribal chieftains for the past year. This is similar to a project the Taliban waged in West Pakistan in the Tribal Areas. Many Sinai tribal chiefs have stated that their tribes want no part in the Salafi war against the Egyptian state. These are the men who are being killed. By decapitating uncooperative tribal leadership, Salafis hope to control the tribes. El Arish has been a hot point for this fighting.
Also, heavy fighting recently between Egyptian forces and Salafis around El Arish left about 20 Salafi casualties. El Arish has seen its population explode in recent years as it has been flooded with Gazans. It is now for all intents and purposes a Palestinian city.
Not only is El-Sisi hostile to Hamas, but Egyptian public opinion has turned anti-Hamas and anti-Palestinian or at least anti-Gazan. Gazans in Egypt are made to feel very much not welcome, and many are returning to Gaza. Egyptians resent the whole mess, feel that it is not their problem, and they are being dragged into it.
LIBYA
Libya is in total and utter chaos. Basically a failed state. I have few details.
TUNISIA
Significant Salafi-jihadi activity in Tunisia in the southwest near the Algerian border. The group has a Tunisian name. Relationship with Al Qaeda in the Maghreb uncertain.
MOROCCO
ISIS is actively trying to recruit in the Maghreb, especially Morocco. Officials are worried.

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