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Israel strengthens air-defence system on Egyptian border

February 13, 2014 at 2:08 am

Israeli officials said on Tuesday that the country has reinforced its missile defence system near its southern border with Egypt to counter possible attacks by ‘Islamist terrorists’ who are fighting against the Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.

“We have received reports of terror attacks from there every day. The concern is of course that their barrels will be turned against us,” Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon said during his visit to the Iron Dome missile defence system that was deployed in Eilat last week.

He said that after Morsi’s ouster, Egypt has increased its efforts to crack down on militants who have exploited a security vacuum in the Sinai after the fall of Mubarak.

“We can see much more effective activity from the Egyptian army and security forces there in the past few months and mainly in the past few weeks after the change in government,” Ya’alon added.

Another Israeli official told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that with the Egyptian security forces’ pressure on terrorists, Israel expects trouble.

“The assessment in recent days is that given the Egyptian crackdown in Sinai, the terrorist elements there will try to demonstrate their survivability and defiance by shelling us,” said the official who asked not to be identified.

Gunmen have been targeting the military and police forces in the Sinai Peninsula in almost daily assaults.