The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Egypt's Sinai 'cyber warfare' disrupts Israel, Gaza phone networks Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Egypt's Sinai 'cyber warfare' disrupts Israel, Gaza phone networks

Egypt has been waging a major campaign against Islamic militants in the Sinai. [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 March, 2018

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Egypt has been waging a major campaign against Islamic militants in the northern Sinai over the past month, and has occasionally disrupted cellular communications in the restive territory.

The Egyptian army's cyber warfare campaign against Islamic militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula has disrupted cellular coverage across southern Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Egypt has been waging a major campaign against Islamic militants in the northern Sinai over the past month, and has occasionally disrupted cellular communications in the restive territory.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been cooperating with Israel on security in the Sinai but the cellular jamming appeared to catch Israel by surprise, with the Israeli communications minister saying talks were underway to resolve the "crisis".

"Without getting into details, for the first time in the south we have been experiencing an uncomfortable situation," Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara told Army Radio.

He said understandings were reached "after a very important meeting across the border" on Tuesday, and he believed the disruptions would end within the next three days.

"We've never seen anything this intensive or protracted. Even the Palestinians have been coming to us, appealing to make it stop," one Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Network coverage has been disrupted as far away as Jerusalem and northern Israel, depending on weather, the official added.

An Egyptian official confirmed to Reuters that cyber warfare was being used in the Sinai against militants.

"Obviously, we want to stop terrorists from communicating," he said.

Israel is not the intended target of the network jamming, he added, but said some militants have been using smuggled Israeli SIM cards to connect to Israeli cell phone reception near the border, which means targeting a "wide range of frequencies".

One of the two Palestinian mobile phone networks in the Gaza Strip was disrupted for a day in the past week, but the problem has now been resolved.

The Multinational Force & Observers (MFO), an international body set up under the Israel-Egypt peace agreement to monitor the Sinai, declined to comment.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More