For the first time in 34 years, Israel has given permission for Egyptian fighter-bombers to fly over the Gaza Strip twice within a week, Israeli TV Channel 2 has said. Egyptian F16s were allowed to fly over the border "to monitor weapons' smuggling", it was claimed. Egypt has said that the flights were part of the campaign against "terrorism" in the Sinai Peninsula.
The terms of the 1979 Camp David Treaty signed by Egypt and Israel, said El-Shaab newspaper, make it clear that the Sinai is to be an arms-free zone, apart from a small border force. Although 18 aircraft were counted flying over the border by witnesses, 48 hours later the Egyptian military denied that this had happened.
El-Shaab reminded its readers that Israel allowed Egyptian Apache attack helicopters to fly over Gaza in September in a move against what were claimed at the time to be "arms caches".