A recent presidential decree extended the state of emergency that applies to parts of North Sinai for an additional three months. The decision becomes effective Wednesday at 1 am, according to the official state paper.
During Tuesday’s parliamentary session, Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal approved the presidential decree.
The area that is subject to emergency measures includes the eastern border with Gaza, from Tal Rafah in the north, to Al-Awga in the south. On the western side, the area extends from Al-Arish city in the north to Al-Halal Mountain in the south.
This is the fifth extension of the state of emergency in the northern part of the peninsula. In October 2014, The National Defence Council (NDC) declared a state of emergency in North Sinai, in a meeting headed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, following three explosions in Sinai that left 31 dead.
Curfew hours were imposed, prohibiting persons from leaving their houses between the hours of 5 pm and 7 am. Later on, the curfew was eased, to start at 7 pm and end at 6 am. During the parliamentary elections of November 2015, the presidency further relaxed the curfew, with it beginning at 11 pm. The Rafah border crossing was closed for the remainder of 2014 and has since seen periodic openings.
According to Palestinian Maan News Agency, quoting an anonymous Egyptian security source on Tuesday, there were “terrorist threats” ahead of the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution, and the Egyptian authorities will maintain the closure of the border at least until 25 January.
Meanwhile, security raids are ongoing in North Sinai under the military operation “Retribution for the Martyr”, carried out in Al-Arish, Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid, and Central Sinai.