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Three blasts ripped through Egyptian resorts late Thursday, October 7
The majority of those killed were Israeli citizens, who are said to have been the main target of the terrorists. However, the victims also include people from other countries, including Russia. A spokesman for the Egyptian government, Magdi Radi, said in an interview with the Associated Press that the terrorist attacks in Sinai were "closely linked to the developments in Gaza." In other words, he meant that the Egyptian radical organisations that have claimed responsibility for the explosions have thus taken revenge on the Israelis for the military operation in Gaza that has claimed Palestinian lives. About 80 Palestinians have died there in the past week. They did not only include terrorists but also civilians. Although the Egyptian leadership has condemned the terrorist attacks and expressed condolences to the families of those foreign tourists who died, including Israelis, many Egyptians, deep in their heart, understand what motivates the terrorists. When it comes to the death of Israelis, Arab public opinion is inclined to think of it as just retribution. But the terrorist attacks committed against the Israelis have the same nature and sources and the terrorist attacks against Saudis, Moroccans, Egyptians, Americans, Iraqis and Russians. And there is no point in searching for motives behind terrorists' actions. The explosions at the resorts on the Sinai peninsula are no different from the shooting of foreign tourists in Luxor in 1997. Like this time, Al-Jamaa Al-Islamia then claimed responsibility for the deaths of 62 people. Notably, there were no Israeli victims then. The attack was designed to undermine the prestige of the Egyptian leadership that has been trying to combat radical Islamic movements for decades. The shooting of tourists in Luxor took place a year and a half after the first anti-terrorist summit (March 1996) was held in Sharm-el-Sheikh. Today, Egypt has forwarded an initiative to hold another international conference on anti-terrorist issues. But will the second conference yield any results, apart from political statements on the need to join efforts? Russia's perception of terrorism has fundamentally changed. In one of his works, Alexei Malashenko, a member of the scientific board of Moscow's Carnegie Centre, noted, "Russia has long seen terrorism in the Middle East as an integral part of the political process and military confrontation in the region." Moscow did not pay much attention to the surge in terrorism in Algeria that came after the army prevented Islamists claiming electoral victory. Nor did it care much when the Islamic movement became stronger in Turkey's political elite. Terrorist attacks on Israel were a separate case. According to Mr Malashenko, "this deep-rooted attitude did not change even after Basayev's raids on Budennovsk in 1995 or Raduyev's attacks on Kizlyar in 1996. Moscow's views on the region changed with the advent of Osama bin Laden." "The second intifada in Palestine that began in 2000 has resulted in many Russians for the first time beginning to identify themselves with the Israelis rather than Arabs," writes Mr Malashenko. The second campaign in the North Caucasus that began with the terrorist raid on Daghestan in August 1999 had almost the same result. And today, sympathising with the Israelis, few Russians go so far in their deliberations as to ask whether the Palestinian demands are fair or unfair, and how horrible their sufferings are, and how many Palestinians die in Israel's military operations. Terrorist attacks bring ordinary civilians and politicians closer together across the world.
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