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Sinai Peninsula, Arabic Shibh Jazīrat Sīnāʾ, triangular peninsula linking Africa with Asia and occupying a room of 23,500 square miles (61,000 square km). The Sinai Desert, as the peninsula’s arid expanse is dubbed, is separated by the Gulf of Suez and also the Suez Canal from the Eastern Desert of Egypt, however it continues eastward into the Negev desert without marked change of relief. Normally regarded as being geographically part of Asia, the Sinai Peninsula is the northeastern extremity of Egypt and also adjoins Israel and also the Gaza Strip on the east. The Sinai is administratively separated into two muḥāfaẓahs (governorates): Shamāl Sīnāʾ in the north and also Janūb Sīnāʾ in the south. The peninsula was inhabited by Israeli forces during the Six-Day War of June 1967 however was went back to Egypt in 1982 under the regards to the peace treaty concluded between those countries in 1979.


Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula as watched from space.

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Egypt: Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula comprises a wedge-shaped block of region through its base alengthy the Mediterranean Sea coastline and its...

Two principal regions might be well-known in the Sinai. The initially region is the southerly complicated of high hills, consisting of such peaks as Mount Kātrīnā (Catherine), elevation 8,668 feet (2,642 metres); Umm Shūmar, 8,482 feet (2,585 metres); Al-Thabṭ, 7,997 feet (2,437 metres); and also Mount Sinai, 7,497 feet (2,285 metres). The southern region is fundamentally created of igneous rocks and is sharply incised by deep, canyonlike wadis (seasonal watercourses) that drainpipe towards the Gulf of Suez or the Gulf of Aqaba. This gaunt hill mass is separated from the Gulf of Suez to the west by a narrowhead coastal ordinary, yet on its eastern side it rises precipitately from the Gulf of Aqaba. The second region, flanking this mass on the north and creating two-thirds of the Sinai, is a great plateau sloping from heights of even more than 3,000 feet (900 metres) downward to the Mediterranean. It is defined by the substantial plain of Wadi Al-ʿArīsh, by a variety of islandchoose massifs, and also by broad western and also north coastal plains that have actually extensive sand dunes.

A conspicuous ridge runs alengthy the southern rim of the Sinai in a great horseshoe curve, from which three major drainage containers have actually occurred. The northern (or Mediterranean) drainage basin, in which Wadi Al-ʿArīsh acts as a grasp stream, empties into the Mediterranean near the town of Al-ʿArīsh. The eastern (Gulf of Aqaba and Dead Sea) basin and the western (Gulf of Suez) basin are both drained by a variety of small streams. It is estimated that the Sinai Desert receives even more than 1.6 million acre-feet (2 billion cubic metres) of water every year from neighborhood precipitation. About one-fourth of this water flows on the surconfront as runoff, and also a comparable amount percolates to groundwater reservoirs, thereby supplying wonderful opportunities for water conservation.

The Sinai falls within the good arid climatic belt crossing northern Africa and also southwestern Asia. Aridity is materialized in the Sinai by a degraded soil surchallenge, sand-dune expanses, salinization, and wadis. That less-arid climatic problems formerly prevailed is demonstrated by occasional terraces of thick alluvial and lacustrine deposits. In the Sinai’s north, or Mediterranean, area of low relief, the climate in winter has a reasonably high amount of precipitation (5 inches <125 mm>); in summer it is dry and also vigorously warm, and in spring and autumn it has dry southern khamsin winds and occasional torrential rains. In the southerly, or Red Sea, area, the climate differs bereason of the mountainous nature of the terrain. The significant peaks are covered with clouds throughout the year and also via ice in winter. Aobtain, in winter tright here is some precipitation in the southerly region; in summer, rare monquickly winds from the southeastern additionally account for occasional hefty precipitation. The nights are cool, also though the daytime summer heat is intense. Prevailing light winds in the Sinai are largely from the north. Relative humidity is mostly high on the coastlines, getting to 74 percent along the Mediterranean and 60 percent alengthy the Red Sea.

Aside from freshly irrigated areas on the northern seaside simple, the vegetation in the Sinai Desert is largely ephemeral, yet perennial scrub survives on the steep southerly slopes and also on the plateau to the north. Succulents and also halophytes (salt-tolerant plants) are discovered on the subdesertic seaside plains, and medicinal and also fodder plants are commonly distributed. Animals are rare, however the species represented encompass ibex, gazelles, sand also foxes, leopards, wildcats, jackals, hares, hedgehogs, and also moles. Falcons and also eagles are native, and also there are likewise seasonal migrants such as quail, partridge, and grousage.

The scanty populace of the Sinai is largely concentrated in the north fringe, wright here water supplies are enough, as well as in the western fringe, wbelow petroleum and manganese sectors have actually been arisen. The settled populace is engaged in farming, land also reclamation, and also pastoralism and also in the petroleum, mining, fishery, and also tourism industries. The nomadic Bedouin people move trying to find water and also pasturage but are progressively attracted to market and farming. In the mountainous south, a area of Eastern Orthodox Christian monks lives in St. Catherine’s Monastery.

Petroleum, first found in 1910 at Mount Tanakah, in the western Sinai, is the many necessary mineral exploited in the peninsula. Mineral ores taken into consideration feasible for exploitation encompass manganese and uranium. Various other minerals are additionally present, and also building stones, dolomite, and sands and also gravels are plentiful.

Land reclamation and watering initiatives utilizing groundwater or water pumped from the Nile River have allowed several hundred thousand also acres of land also on the northern-seaside plain to be newly grew. Barley, fruits, sector vegetables, days, and also ostays are developed, and also timber trees have been planted. Date palm groves are scattered throughout the peninsula, and some of the area’s original Bedouin inhabitants are still engaged in the nomadic grazing of livestock.


The Sinai has been lived in given that prehistorical times. The earliest written information around it days from 3000 bce, when the primitive Egyptians recorded their explorations tright here searching for copper ores. The passage of the Israelites through the Sinai is undoubted, but the path and also the date of their Exodus are still matters of conflict. The Sinai is likewise famed as the scene of the providing of the Law to Moses, yet tright here is doubt regarding which of the mountains there is the actual site. A road alengthy the Sinai’s northern shore served as the primary trade route between Egypt and also Palestine for many kind of centuries, and also it is likely that Egypt set up a chain of fortresses to guard this route. After the decrease of the Egyptian empire, Nabataeans from Petra managed the trade courses of the Sinai for 2 centuries, till they were defeated by the Romans in 106 ce. The area then became part of the province of Arabia in the Romale Realm.

During the early Christian duration, the Sinai came to be the home of a large number of hermits and ascetics, especially in the mountainous southerly region. In 530 ce the Byzantine emperor Justinian I began structure the monastery of St. Catherine on the reduced slopes of Mount Sinai. This gave a centre for the scattered neighborhoods of Christians in the area, and also the monastery served as a pilgrimage site throughout the Middle Ages. After 1517 the Sinai created component of the Ottoguy Empire and was administered by an official sent from Constantinople (currently Istanbul). Conditions in the Sinai deteriorated, and traveling there came to be difficult after Egypt became independent of direct Turkish dominance in the early 1ninth century. The Al-ʿArīsh location was the scene of fighting in between the Turks and also the British throughout World War I, and also at the war’s finish the Sinai was turned over to Egypt.

The Sinai was administered by Egypt until the Israelis overran the peninsula in the Six-Day War of June 1967. It was the focus of Israeli-Egyptian combat in every military confrontation between the 2 nations from 1949 to 1973, the Giddi and Mitla passes in the peninsula’s northeastern percentage being the scene of bitter fighting in 1956, 1967, and 1973. (See Arab-Israeli battles.) Following the peace agreement reached between Egypt and Israel in 1979, the Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt and demilitarized under the regards to the agreement. The peninsula was later the website of a variety of assaults by militant Islamist groups; mostly targeting tourists, the strikes included those in Ṭābā (and elsewhere) in October 2004, in Sdamage el-Sheikh in July 2005, and also in Dhahab in April 2006. Egyptian army personnel and also civilian occupants of the peninsula became the focus of attacks in the 2010s after the Egyptian Uprising of 2011 exacerbated a defense vacuum. On November 24, 2017, an assault on a Sufi mosque in Al-Rawḍah (close to Al-ʿArīsh) eliminated some 300 worshippers in the most dangerous terrorist attack in Egyptian history.

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