Already a semi-detached area, the peninsula was occupied by Israel from 1967 to 1982. Since the Israeli withdrawal, the Egyptian central government has pursued security and development policies that favor “mainland” Egyptians over the Sinai’s mix of Bedouin, Palestinians, and other minorities. This background is not always found in reports that stress the immediate events of the day, frequently involving militant attacks on Egyptian government forces, the Israeli border, or the oft-targeted gas pipeline to Israel.
“They [the Bedouin], in practice, have not been allowed to be part of the military or the police force. That alone suggests a problem in that they’re not a part of their own security. They get systematically discriminated against at checkpoints,” Hauslohner added.
Lee agreed that the underlying causes of instability needed to be addressed. “We’re going to continue probably seeing attacks and insecurity and instability in Sinai until a political solution is reached,” he said. “There has to be security, but more importantly a political solution that will make Sinai safe, but it will also make it safe for journalists.”