An Israeli source reported on Thursday that Egypt and Israel singed the Philadilphi deal to deploy 750 Egyptian border guards at the Philadilphi route, on the Gaza-Egypt border.
Head of the Israeli General StaffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Operation Directorate Major General Yisrael Ziv, signed on Thursday afternoon the deal with his Egyptian counterpart; the agreement enables 750 Egyptian border guards deploy on the Route.
The singing of the agreement came after it was approved by the Knesset.
Israel, Egypt to sign the Philadilphi deal Thursday
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies
Israeli defense officials reported that Egypt will start deploying its forces as early as Sunday, although the two countries failed to agree on whether Israel would control traffic into the coastal area to stop what was described as Ã¢â‚¬Å“weapons traffickingÃ¢â‚¬Â.Ã‚Â
Suleiman Awad, Egyptian presidential spokesman said that the deployment of their forces is a contribution from Egypt to provide all elements of success to the deal.
The Israeli online daily Haaretz reported that the deal was signed at an unnamed Egyptian military base in Cairo.Ã‚Â
The Egyptian troops, waiting in Al Areesh town in the Sinai Desert, will begin their deployment 72 hours after the signing of the agreement,Ã‚Â
The Philadilphi agreement to deploy 750 Egyptian border policemen on the Philadilphi route between Sinai and Egypt will be singed on Thursday between Israeli and Egyptian officials.
The signing of the deal comes after the Knesset approved it on Wednesday in a 53-28 vote.
The vote was came as Benjamin Netanyahu, who quit the Cabinet just three weeks ago, initiated a campaign to remove the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon from the leadership of the ruling Likud Party.
The split in the Likud, Israel’s largest party, brought about the question whether Sharon’s government can live out its term until November 2006.
Netanyahu opened his campaign by visiting Maaleh Adumim settlement, the largest settlement in the West Bank, one of the most controversial areas in a trilateral dispute involving Israel, the Palestinians and the United States.
Netanyahu slammed Sharon for freezing a government plan to construct 3,650 homes in that region, blocking the Palestinian hold there in any future agreements, and separating northern West Bank areas from the south.
Meanwhile, Israel is to start constructing a border crossing terminal at the Israeli border town of Kerem Sharom, on the joint Israel-Egyptian- Palestinian borders next week, in spite of Egyptian and Palestinian objections to constructing the crossing.Ã‚Â
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz is slated to meet Thursday with Palestinian Authority officials to negotiate on preparations regarding the Rafah terminal, since the control over the Rafah Border Crossing is one of the most important post-withdrawal issues.Ã‚Â
Israel demands that the entry from Egypt into the Gaza Strip to be from the Kerem Shalom terminal even after it concludes its withdrawal, in order to monitor customs and goods and passengers crossing through the terminal.
Israel is threatening the P.A to exclude Gaza from the customs union with it and with the West Bank if the P.A insists on controlling the Rafah terminal on their own.
Israeli sources reported that work on preparing the terminal would start immediately after the Israeli committee for security facilities meets in order to approve the land allocation for the Keren Shalom terminal scheduled for Monday after the Israeli defense ministry approved the initial layout of the project.