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Egypt sends troops to Sinai without Israeli approval

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

A report in Haaretz newspaper on Thursday claims that Egypt has sent troops and military equipment to Sinai without prior approval from Israel. This, notes Haaretz, is in contradiction of the Camp David peace agreement between the two countries. “Israeli government officials only learned about it after the deployment,” alleged Haaretz.

Officials from Israel’s Ministry of Defence refused to comment on the move. Haaretz pointed out that there is “good security cooperation” between the two countries in any case, with “regular contact”.

According to the 1979 Camp David peace agreement, Egypt is not allowed to introduce tanks into certain areas of Sinai, including the town of El-Arish, to which dozens of tanks have been transported over the past few days. The treaty also bars the use of fighter aircraft, including helicopters, but that was approved retrospectively by the Israeli security cabinet, the newspaper claimed.

“This is seen as a source of future problems, particularly with the entrenchment of the Muslim Brotherhood’s power in Egypt,” said Haaretz, “but at the moment, Israel has decided not to respond to the unilateral Egyptian moves, apparently to avoid a confrontation.”