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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Israeli Security Cabinet approves the additional Egyptian military troops and helicopters in Sinai

Egypt's military helicopter

Israeli Security Cabinet approved on Thursday a request for Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak to allow Egypt to deploy additional military troops and attack helicopter in the Sinai area.

This approval is necessary due to the terms of Camp David peace treaty signed by Egypt and Israel in 1979. According to this peace accord Sinai must stay demilitarized zone, and Egypt cannot deploy more army troops and heavy weapons in eastern and southern regions of Sinai Peninsula. The official approval from Israeli Defense Ministry is required for any actions in attempt to increase military activity in Sinai.

The official approval of Israel came a day after the massive military offensive conducted by Egypt’s Armed Forces in Northern Sinai, using the ground and air craft. There was the biggest and the most serious military operation committed by Egypt’s military since the time of Arab-Israeli war. The offensive was a response to the deadly Sunday attack happened on the border and killed 16 Egyptian soldiers and followed the series of attacks on the border checkpoints and police stations in Egypt’s city of El-Arish.

Egyptian soldiers taking part in the massive military operation
in Sinai
Hundreds of additional troops with heavy weapons and on armored vehicles were deployed to the Sinai region during the last days. The military helicopters are patrolling the area and were used in yesterday’s offensive. After the clashes resumed today, the military operation in attempt to fight the militants and restore the control and stability in the problematic region continued. In addition to that Egyptian forces demolish the underground tunnels connecting Sinai with the neighboring Gaza.

Israel welcomes Egyptian military offensive in Sinai, but expresses worries about the deteriorating situation on the peninsula. The country stressed its readiness to cooperate with Egypt in order to eliminate the terrorist forces and maintain the control over the region. But the situation remains complex and very tense, and the amendments of the Camp David peace treaty are needed urgently to allow Egypt to better control the situation in Sinai and to restore peace and stability.