La poudrière du Sinaï

TEL AVIV– La crise de la péninsule du Sinaï semble avoir été éclipsée par le drame survenu dimanche au Caire. Mais le coup d’État civil du président égyptien Mohamed Morsi, par lequel celui-ci a destitué le général Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, chef du commandement suprême de l’armée, ne diminue en rien l’ampleur des tensions dans la région.

Plus tôt dans le mois, des terroristes djihadistes avaient tendu une embuscade à une base militaire égyptienne du Sinaï, ôtant la vie à 16 soldats égyptiens. Ils ont ensuite détourné deux véhicules blindés de transport pour foncer vers la frontière israélienne. L’un des véhicules n’est pas parvenu à forcer le barrage ; le second a réussi à pénétrer en territoire israélien, avant d’être stoppé par les Forces de Défense d’Israël (FDI). En réponse, l’armée et les forces de sécurité égyptiennes ont lancé une offensive contre des militants bédouins dans le Sinaï tandis que Morsi a contraint le directeur du service des Renseignements généraux à démissionner, et destitué le gouverneur du Sinaï Nord.

Ces épisodes mettent en lumière la complexité d’un paysage géopolitique moyen-oriental changeant, la fragilité de l’ordre politique égyptien post-Moubarak, ainsi que la nature explosive d’un Sinaï qui, bien que peu peuplé, concentre les frontières de l’Égypte avec Israël et l’enclave palestinienne de Gaza. En effet, depuis l’élection d’Hosni Moubarak l’an dernier, la sécurité dans le Sinaï s’est détériorée, et la région est devenue un terrain fertile pour l’extrémisme islamique.

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