Dozens of Coptic families have fled North Sinai as jihadist attacks against Christians grow in number. Simultaneously, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis fired missiles across the border into Israel, prompting an Israeli response that killed several Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis operatives in Egypt, and security forces launched a new sweep of Gabal Al-Halal, a notorious militant hideout.According to sources interviewed, the connection is clear. It is reinforced, they say, by the growing role played by Gaza jihadists in the leadership of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, a role they claim is reflected in the ferocious campaign to discredit Cairo’s policy towards the Palestinian-Israeli negotiating process, which has included leaks from the Aqaba summit and the spreading of rumours of a land exchange that would allow Palestinians to settle in Sinai.Analysts also believe the attacks against Copts are part of an attempt to place Egypt in an awkward situation internationally. The recent incidents occurred in tandem with a number of high-profile visits — of the British foreign secretary and the German chancellor — and ahead of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s upcoming visit to the US.The idea of “correspondence” between radical Islamist organisations begs the question of Muslim Brotherhood involvement.A security source points to the resemblance between the video claiming responsibility for the bombing of St Peter’s Church in December and the video posted on Al-Nabaa calling for attacks against Copts. Both, he says, display “a distinct Brotherhood tone perceptible in the rhetorical details suggesting that the Brotherhood media machine or, more precisely, rebel factions within the Brotherhood such as Hasm and the Revolution Brigade, had a hand in its making”.