By Nasser Al-Azazi
The armed forces in North Sinai arrested a Palestinian citizen Tuesday night in possession of materials used to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and hand grenades.
A security source stated that the man had been arrested in a hotel located in Central Al-Arish, while in possession of high powered TNT used in the production of IEDs and various explosives, in addition to an unknown white powder. The latter was transferred to a crime laboratory to determine its composition.
The arrested man, known as Ramzi, A.R., is reportedly from Gaza City and entered Egypt 45 days ago. He has since been handed over to investigative authorities.
Security forces accuse Ramzi of operating alongside other assailants in planning and carrying out explosive attacks on a number of security headquarters in the region.
The Al-Reesa checkpoint in eastern Al-Arish was attacked Thursday night by armed assailants, along with the Al-Muhajir checkpoint located along the road leading to the Al-Arish airport.
Security sources stated that the assailants fired on security personnel manning the former, while riding in four wheel drive vehicles. Attacks on the latter checkpoint occurred when assailants fired on security personnel from within olive farms, prompting return fire. No information regarding casualties was reported.
Unknown assailants were also reported on Tuesday to have launched RPG rockets at a Fontas water vehicle owned by the army, near the Al-Muhagir checkpoint located in southern Al-Arish near the city’s airport. Security forces said the rocket did not land near the vehicle, and that no casualties were reported.
Afterwards, security forces began a search and seizure campaign in the neighbourhood of Al-Tawil in southern Al-Arish. This led to clashes with armed assailants, and resulted in the arrest of two militants who sustained injuries after being shot. Those arrested were transferred to the Al-Arish hospital under tight security.
Three individuals in Sheikh Zuweid, in addition to a fourth in Al-Arish, were also reportedly injured Tuesday night after violating curfew. Security forces said the individuals were reportedly warned by security forces to stop and abide by the imposed curfew, but responded by firing on security personnel.
Security sources also said that all individuals were transferred to the Al-Arish public hospital to receive treatment, adding that “all those who violate curfew will be dealt with strictly in light of the recent death on Monday of 25 soldiers in Rafah.”
A number of youth and tribal sheikhs in Bir al-Abd organised a Tuesday night march throughout the city’s streets in support of the military, condemning terrorism and calling for the arrest of those who have targeted security forces.
The demonstrators chanted and carried Egyptian flags along with posters expressing their condolences for those 25 soldiers who died in the Rafah massacre.
A number of youth and tribal sheikhs in Bir Al-Abd also helped reconstruct the city’s police station and a security checkpoint at the entrance to the city, which were damaged and burned last Friday.