On Tuesday, The Director of the Political-Security Staff in the Israel Defense Ministry Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Gilad returned from his talks on the Egyptian side of Rafah. There he met with Egypt security and intelligence officials and discussed arms smuggling, redeployment for disengagement and also the specific warning from the GSS on a possible terror attack in Sinai. The Egyptians promised to deal with this warning. Now it turns out that the warning dealt with them. If this was indeed a Hamas-manufactured terror attack, then this is a completely new ball game. The person who either blew himself up or blew up the Taba Hilton yesterday, dealt a blow to Egyptian sovereignty, killed and wounded Egyptian civilians and as of this morning, has to contend with the Egyptian security services. As Rabin said: without the High Court and without B’Tselem. Director of Egyptian Intelligence General Omar Suleiman, in a talk with Israeli politicians few months ago, told his interlocutors how he dealt with the terrorists in Luxor. “It’s all a matter of intelligence, manpower and money,” Suleiman said. What he didn’t say is buried under the dunes of Luxor, along with the bodies of hundreds of terrorists (thousands of others are being held in various dungeons throughout Egypt).

To this day, Egypt did not have any real reason to take action on the other side of Gaza. The Egyptians talked nice, promised quite a bit, took some action here and there, but they had not gotten down to any real work. What did they care if Israel kept bleeding, if the conflict stayed on a low flame, there would be something for the masses at Cairo University to vent their spleen. As of today (if this was indeed a Palestinian terror attack), they do have. They too are bleeding now. Not to mention the heavy financial loss caused by the halt to Israeli tourism for the coming period.

Egypt views Hamas, on the edge of northern Sinai, as a strategic threat. Until now they spoke of this in whispers, it was played down, but the writing was on the wall. Yesterday evening this wall collapsed, along with the western wing of the Taba hotel. At this moment news just came in of an explosion in the Ras Hasatan [lit. the devil’s head] area, which Israelis so love. And if the devil’s head from Gaza blew up Ras Hasatan in Sinai, and if it turns out that Hamas-or the Moslem Brothers in solidarity with Hamas-made this fatal mistake, it will become clear very quickly that the Egyptians are being dragged into the game and are liable to redefine the rules. Let’s see Khaled Mashal going to Cairo next time to be hosted by Omar Suleiman. Avi Dichter will no doubt make a few phone calls and say “I told you so.”

Again, this must be said with reservations. At the time of this writing, it is still unclear what happened there. The signs point to Hamas. If it was they, this is the first time it has gone beyond the “Zionist entity” or the Palestinian Authority. And to Egypt yet, the leader of the Arab world, striking its soft underbelly, dealing a mortal blow to profitable Israeli tourism.

Terror, like water, will always trickle in through the cracks. Because the Gaza Strip is sealed, because the IDF is putting heavy pressure on it from its Israeli sides, the Hamasniks were forced to seep through Sinai. The warnings we had referred to other sites in Egypt. This time it went for a classic site: the Taba Hilton. Those who went to gamble in the casino, gambled for their lives. The problem is that the counter-terror office has been putting out warnings of Sinai for years, each time before Passover and Sukkot. No wonder Israelis snicker. Even a broken watch is correct twice a day. This time, when the GSS joined the warning, when it turned out to be serious, it was impossible to convince anyone to remain at home.

This analysis ran on the front page of Maariv on the morning of October 8th