Bedouin of the Sinai بدو سيناء

Bedouin have lived in the area of the Sinai Peninsula for hundreds of years. In all, there are 33 distinct Bedouin tribes living across the Sinai, with some of those tribes being the Tarabin, Muzeina, Jebeleya, Awlad Said, Garasha, Sowalha, Hamada, and Alegat. The Bedouin Tribes of the Northern and Central Sinai are primarily involved in Camel, Goat, and Sheep herding, while Bedouin of the southern Sinai do the same, and are also fishermen. Also some Bedouin are gainfully employed in smuggling of various supplies into Southern Israel through tunnels hand dug under the border with Israel. Some Sinai Bedouin also operate businesses catering to tourists, but these are only a very small minority of the Sinai Bedouin. Each tribe of the Bedouin in the Sinai speak their own dialect of Arabic عربى, and that is how Bedouin identify which tribe other Bedouin are a member of.

Al-Tarabin Bedouin الترابين

The Tarabin Bedouin, also known as Al-Tirabin‎, is the largest Bedouin tribe in the Sinai, and they also occupy parts of the Negev Desert in both Sinai and also Israel, and can be found throughout Egypt. This tribe currently numbers about 500,000 people. A township named Tirabin Al-Sana was built in Israel in 2004, especially for Al-Sana clan from Al-Tirabin tribe. However, some of these Bedouin preferred to live in the desert instead of the town. In some cases, the State of Israel commited human rights abuses against the Bedouin by bulldozing their makeshift, unofficial villages in the Negev Desert.

Al-Tirabin - Wikipedia الترابين

Feiran Oasis واحة الفيران

The Feiran Oasis, or Wadi Feiran, is a place steeped in biblical history as the site where Moses struck a rock to draw water for his thirsty people. Due to this signifance, it has for hundreds of years served as a stopping point for Christian monks and pilgrims. Wadi Feiran is a green Oasis with large tracts of palm trees and is the largest Oasis in the Sinai.

Dahab دهب

Dahab is the Arabic word for Gold, and earned this name from the golden sand on its beaches. Dahab is also home to the bedouin village Assalah. This small bedouin village is prosperous from tourism and has campgrounds, shops, and hotels. The Blue Hole, a magnificent scuba diving site, is nearby.

Ras Mohamed National Park حديقة رأس محمد الوطنية

Ras Mohamed National Park lies at the very southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. It is surrounded by large and colorful coral reefs, and is also home to Gazelles in its northern desert area.

Remeilat Bedouin الرميلات

While most Bedouin are herders of Camel, Goats, and Sheep, there is one tribe in Northern Sinai that herds cattle - the Remeilat

The Bedouin Way الطريق البدوي

A select minority of Sinai Bedouin operate eco-tour businesses in southern Sinai, like The Bedouin Way

Sinai Peninsula - Wikipedia شبه جزيرة سيناء


Photo: Sinai Bedouin Man on a Camel (Bing Images)



Photo: A Bedouin Man of the Sinai Peninsula (Bing Images)



Photo: A Sinai Bedouin Family Outside Their Tent (Bing Images)



Photo: Sinai Bedouin Men Prepare a Meal (Bing Images)

Open Warfare In The Sinai الحرب في سيناء

Starting in about 2011, after the Egyptian Revolution, armed militants in the Sinai began attacking both military and also civilain targets in the Sinai, with many of the armed extremist militants being from the Sinai Bedouin. However, it is important to note that most intelligence estimates put the number of armed extremist combatants in the Sinai to be about 12,000, with about 1,000 to 2,000 of those aligned with Islamic State, also known as Daesh, while the total population of the Sinai is 600,000. So, it is still safe to say most of the Sinai Bedouin are peaceful non-combatants. Unfortunately, many of the peaceful unarmed Bedouin have been caught up in the conflict and killed or wounded after attacks by the Egyptian Armed Forces, and also others have been killed by their own fellow Bedouin in terrorist attacks by the extremists.

Longstanding grievances in the Sinai for the Bedouin have partly fueled the conflict. Sinai Bedouin are barred from employment in the Egyptian Armed Forces and Egyptian Police. Little government investment is provided to the Bedouin in the likes of public works, utilities, and/or education. There is little or no schooling available for Bedouin youth. Chronic unemployment is prevalent throughout the Bedouin communities of the Sinai.

Adding to the conflict, after revolution in Libya that toppled Muamar Qhaddafi, large stockpiles of Soviet Block weapons acquired by Libya flooded the underground markets in North Africa, and around the world. With a long, unprotected border between Libya and Egypt, many extremist combatants then came into posession of large quantities of weapons, including advanced surface to air missiles, and large quantities of explosives. Also, extremist militants in Syria and Iraq began moving into the Sinai to join the battles.

There are at least 10 different armed extremist groups operating in the Sinai, with the three major ones being Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (Merged with ISIL in 2014), Al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Sinai Insurgency - Middle East Institute

Sinai Insurgency - Wikipedia

Sinai Insurgency Timeline - Wikipedia

The Egyptian Armed Forces announced two operations to combat the armed combatant extremists, starting in 2011 with Operation Eagle, and then in 2012 with Operation Sinai, which has continued until the present.

Operation Eagle - Wikipedia

Operation Sinai - Wikipedia

Around the time of Operation Eagle, 12 miltants in 4 groups launched brazen cross-border attacks within southern Israel, on Highway 12 near the Egyptian border. Egyptian sources claimed that 3 of the attackers were from the Sinai. The miltants attacked a bus travelling on Highway 12, a bomb was detonated near an army patrol at the same time, and in a third attack, an anti-tank missile hit a civilian vehicle.

2011 Southern Israel Cross Border Attacks - Wikipedia

On 5 August 2012, an attack on the Rafah barracks in Sinai startled the Egyptian public and stunned the Egyptian Armed Forces

From 2013 - 2014, Egyptian Armed Forces undertook clearing operations in northeast Sinai looking for extremist militants, but there is still a large contingent of armed militants in Jabal Halal and also Jabal Amer.

On January 26, 2014, extremist militants shot down an Egyptian Army Mi-17 helicopter in North Sinai. All five of its crew members were killed. The weapon used by the militants was most likely an infrared-tracking handheld surface to air missile, sourced from looted stockpiles of Soviet Block weapons during the revolution in Libya.

In 2018, The New York Times claimed that Israel has conducted over 100 Air Strikes in Sinai. Bedouin in the attacked villages claimed that Hebrew lettering on the remnants of the munitions proves that Israel is responsible. Also, during the Sinai insurgency, the Egyptian Armed forces sent tanks into the Sinai to do battle with ISIL. These actions by both Egypt and Israel were violations of the 1979 Camp David Accords and Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel, which calls for demilitarization of the Sinai and only a small UN peacekeeping force allowed in the Sinai. However, neither nation made much complaint about the violations.

On October 31, 2015, a Russian passenger jet, Metrojet Flight 9268, was destroyed above the northern Sinai. 224 people aboard were killed. ISIL claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack. Investigators concluded that the jet was brought down by a bomb.

Russian Jet Metrojet 9268 Sinai Attack - Wikipedia

The conflict in the Sinai continues right up until the current day, and also the Egyptian Armed Forces Operation Sinai is still continuing.



Photo: ISIL militants in the Sinai (Bing Images)



Photo: A Sinai ISIL Militant Stands Next to Arms That ISIL posesses, Large Stockpiles of Soviet Block Weapons Flooded the African Markets After Revolution in Libya (Bing Images)



Photo: ISIL Militants On The March in Sinai (Bing Images)



Photo: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el Sisi, and Leaders of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Give a Press Conference On The State of the Conflict in Sinai (Bing Images)



Photo: Egyptian Soldiers Prepare for Combat in the Sinai (Bing Images)



Photo: Egyptian Soldiers Prepare for Combat in the Sinai (Google Images)



Photo: A Building in Sinai Damaged by an ISIL Terrorist Attack (Bing Images)