Head of the Israeli Defense Ministry political-security devision, Amos Gilad, and Egyptian intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, are about to conclude an agreement to deploy Egyptian border guards apposite the Philadelphi route in Rafah.

The main problematic issue which remained is the Israel demands that Egypt should assume responsibility of preventing arms smuggling alone the route after the army withdrawal, an Israeli security source reported.

“We want to know who is responsible for this issue, we want a written and clear agreement”, the source stated.

Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, is preparing an opinion which states that this issue is totally military, and needs military protocol, therefore it does not need the approval of the Knesset and does not involve an amendment to the Israeli-Egypt peace treaty.

Officials at the Israeli Justice ministry will meet on Monday and discuss the clauses of the treaty.

Likud member of the Knesset, Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, demanded that the agreement should be presented to the parliament for approval. 

Steinitz believes that there is a great danger in the process of what he described as “demilitarization arrangements “ which were included in the peace treaty with Egypt, and has been recruiting support for his position on both the Israeli left and right parties.

The peace deal of 1979 between Egypt and Israel forbids deploying the army in the border area, and that only civil police may patrol the area. Following the agreement Israel required talks on security arrangements, and defined it as a military protocol.

Any changes on the agreement will be signed by the Israeli army Major General and an Egyptian General.

Over the last few months, Gilad and Suleiman have been negotiating on the agreement, and agreed that Egypt will deploy 750 border guards on the Egyptian side of the Philadelphi route, starting from the Mediterranean Sea and through to the Israel-Egypt-Gaza border point.

Also, the two sides agreed on equipment and arms to be carried by the Egyptian soldiers on the route, but Israel rejected an Egyptian demand to deploy additional 3000 soldiers along the borders in Sinai, located between Rafah and Eilat.

Israel also rejected any Egyptian proposal to install a military jetty in al-Arish area, north of Sinai arguing that this step requires important amendments to the peace treaty between the two sides.