Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee announced on Monday that Israel and Egypt are expected to reach a deal to deploy Egyptian troops on the Philadelphi route separating Sinai and the Gaza Strip, within three weeks.
General Amos Gilad, Israeli Defense Ministry’s chief diplomatic-security advisor, said that the responsibility over the area will be handed to Egypt, which will deploy 750 Egyptian border guards on the Philadelphi route.Ã‚Â
Committee chairman, Likud Mk Yuval Steinitz said that this agreement damages what he described as Ã¢â‚¬Å“most significant achievementÃ¢â‚¬Â, which is the demilitarization of the Sinai.
Likud MK Ehud Yatom voiced strong objection to the deal and described handing the Philadelphi axis to Egypt as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“terrible dealÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Meanwhile, the joint Israeli-Egyptian committee is attempting to finalize the wording of the military protocol of the deployment of the Egyptian troops.
Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, is expected to propose that Israel transfers the border crossing from its current location in Rafah, to a Ã¢â‚¬Å“joint Israeli-Egyptian-PalestinianÃ¢â‚¬Â triangle near Keren Shalom area.
Sharon believes that by moving the border crossing to that area, Israel can maintain its security inspection over the people and goods entering the Gaza Strip from Sinai.
If the Kerem Shalom plan falls, the Israeli National Security Council will recommend placing the Rafah border crossing under foreign inspection, while the transfer of good will have to go through Nitzana town, on the Negev border.