Israel Alarmed by Egyptian Moves in Sinai
The Israeli government is deeply alarmed by the entry of Egyptian tanks into the Sinai and has asked Egypt to remove them, an Israeli government spokesman told the New York Times.
The tanks were deployed in Sinai following the Aug. 5 terrorist attack on an Egyptian military checkpoint. The Sinai has become a hotbed for Islamic terrorists, especially from Gaza, following years of neglect by the Egyptian government.
As part of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, the Sinai is demilitarized. Egyptian military personnel can only be deployed in the region with Israeli consultation. Israel claims that the recent Egyptian moves came without its permission.
According to an Egyptian government spokesman, Egypt has denied hearing of Israeli complaints and claims that the move was coordinated with Israel.
Some Israeli leaders are apprehensive. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told his ambassadors, “We must make sure that every detail is upheld, otherwise we’ll find ourselves in a slippery slope as far as the peace treaty is concerned.”
Former military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin, however, was more optimistic.
“What the Egyptians are doing in Sinai today is a more significant effort than in the past to deal with terrorism,” Yadlin told Army Radio.