The the Sinai is an Egyptian peninsula of approximately 60 000 km ², with the form triangular and located between the the Mediterranean (in north) and the Red Sea (in the south). Its land borders skirt the Suez Canal to the west and the border israélo-Egyptian woman to the North-East. The Eastern limit of the peninsula is marked by a tectonic fault which draws aside, year after year, the Red Sea. Oil, iron and manganese are exploited in North and the southern center. Old mines exist since millenia.
This desert area is inhabited today by more 400 000 Egyptians, mainly in the north along the Israeli border and of the Gaza Strip. The most known cities are: Charm el-Cheikh and Taba, which is important tourist destinations.
The Mount the Sinai, culminating point in the south of the peninsula, is according to the Bible the place where Moïse would have received the Ten Commands. However, the historians and the archeologists generally reject the idea that current the monastery Holy-Catherine, currently present on the site, would mark the site of the top of the mount describes in the Bible.
The Sinai and Modern history
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Sinai belonged to the Ottoman Empire then with the British empire until the end of the Second world war. The Eastern border of the peninsula was drawn in straight line between Rafah on the Mediterranean and Taba on the Red Sea. This line is the border israélo-Egyptian woman today.
In second half of the 20th century, conflicts opposed the Egypt and Israel for the control of the area. Since the Israeli-Arab War of 1948, the Sinai was always the theater of engagements opposing the armies Israeli and Egyptian woman:
- In 1948, the British and the Americans stopped the Israelis as soon as they entered the North-East of the peninsula. The armistice of 1949 left the Sinai and the Gaza Strip under Egyptian control.
- In 1956, Tsahal invades in a few days the peninsula (with the French and British supports) to put a term at the Egyptian blockade on the Israeli port of Eilat on the Red Sea and to answer the nationalization by Nasser of Suez Canal. See the detailed article. The American and Soviet pressures obliged the Israelis to be withdrawn and UNO deployed forces to demilitarize the peninsula.
- In 1967, Egypt ordered the withdrawal of the U.N. forces, took again its blockade of the strait and opera militarily in the Sinai. The Israeli offensive demolished in six days the Egyptian army and Israel chooses to keep the complete control of the peninsula to make a buffer zone of it.
- In 1973, during the surprise attack of the Arab armies the day of the Yom Kippour, the Egyptians forced the line presumedly impregnable Bar-Lev which had been built along the border between the Sinai and Egypt. However, the Israelis pushed back finally the attack and passed even the Suez Canal.
- In 1979, the Sinai was exchanged by the Israelis against a peace treaty with Egypt. The Israeli withdrawal on the peninsula involved the destruction of colonies of settlement like the town of Yamit, in the North-East.
- Since, the border of the Sinai is peaceful, except for the traffics of weapons which forward towards the Gaza Strip by clandestine tunnels.
- the town of Charm el-Cheikh is from now on the “modern window” of Egypt which organizes international tops regularly there. The city was taken for target at the time of terrorist attacks of Al-Qaida.
EnvironmentThe environment was strongly degraded since the beginning of the 20th century, following the lack of water and with the tourist pressure in particular. All the leashes of sea are polluted by many waste, many bottles of figures carried by the wind since the sea accumulate in the desert and on and way roadsides. Water is polluted until in natural reserves.
- the medieval Sinai, between Christianity and Islam by Jean-Michel Sheep, professor of history and civilization medieval Moslem women at the university Light Lyon 2.
- “Voyages… Faces” - Another manner of travelling and of seeing
Zh-min-nan: -nái Poàn-tó
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