There's a lot we still don't know about the missile strike that killed two people in a car bound for Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast last night, like the identity of the victims or whether the attack came by air or by sea. But Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmad Karti says he's sure about one thing: Israel, despite its silence in the aftermath of the strike, carried out the attack. Karti (pictured above) claimed that the victims were ordinary Sudanese citizens and that Israel may have been motivated by its unfounded suspicion that Sudan is supporting "Islamic groups," according to AFP.
As details of the mysterious incident come into focus, many media outlets are providing background for why Karti would call out Israel of all places for launching the attack. CNN points out that Israel has identified Sudan as one of the main countries through which weapons are smuggled to Hamas and other militant groups in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz adds that these weapons are often provided by Iran or purchased in the black markets of Yemen, Somalia, and Eritrea, and that Israeli officials have spoken about "the long arm" of Israel that extends to places like the Red Sea, which lies south of Israel past Egypt. AFP notes that Hamas has a close relationship with the Sudanese government and has a base in Sudan.
The BBC's Jonathan Marcus, meanwhile, situates Tuesday's attack in the context of the larger "shadowy war" that Israel's military is waging against arms smugglers along Sudan's Red Sea coast. The U.S. has occasionally fired missiles at terror targets in Sudan, Marcus explains, so we can't say with certainty that Israel carried out this latest strike. "But this attack against individuals who were clearly considered specific targets suggests a complex intelligence-driven operation," he adds. In 2009, unidentified aircraft attacked a convoy of suspected arms smugglers in eastern Sudan, in what was widely considered an attempt by Israel to block weapons headed for Gaza.