Egyptian forces will be deployed on the border with the Gaza Strip starting next week as Israel starts implementing its withdrawal from the area, the Agence France-Presse reported on Friday..

The troops, who will carry only light arms, are to be positioned along the 12km Philadelphi route along the southwestern edge of the Gaza Strip..

The Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported that Egypt and Israel are finally set to sign a long-delayed agreement on the deployment of the Egyptian troops.

Under the agreement, Egypt and the Palestine Authority will share full control over the Rafah Border Crossing between Egypt and Gaza, the paper reported.

Egypt proposed that a multi-national peace force would also take part in securing the borders. A similar force was based in the Sinai Peninsula after Egypt and Israel signed their peace deal in 1979.

Control over the Philadelphi Route is one of the most problematic issues in the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Deploying the Egyptian troops along the border will mean changing some of the articles of the existing Egyptian-Israeli peace accord.

Several senior Israeli officials, led by Likud member of the Knesset Yuval Steinitz, have urged the Israeli government not to modify the peace agreement, which calls for the demilitarization of the Sinai.