The Israeli government has threatened to launch military operations in the Sinai Peninsula in order, it claims, to prevent attacks from the Egyptian territory. According to Haaretz newspaper, the authorities in Cairo have been sent a “strongly-worded message” about the responsibility they have for the situation in Sinai.
Israel, said Haaretz, has told the Egyptian leadership that it will have to work on its own in Sinai to prevent further rocket attacks. The move comes after two Grad missiles were fired towards the southern Israeli port of Eilat on the Red Sea coast last week. The military authorities in Egypt denied that the rockets were launched from its territory.
Political sources in Israel confirmed that Tel Aviv has allowed the deployment of Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula “to prevent terrorist attacks”, even though such a move contravenes the terms of the Camp David peace agreement between Egypt and Israel.
“Israel agreed to Cairo’s request to deploy seven battalions of the Egyptian security forces in Sinai,” said the sources. “The size of the forces deployed is subject to monthly confirmation.” There is “fruitful cooperation” between Israel and Egypt in these anti-terrorist efforts. The Head of Israel’s Intelligence Corps, Major General Aviv Kochavi, said recently that “more than ten terror cells have been uncovered in the Sinai peninsula over the past two months”; the attacks being planned, he added, “were prevented”.