Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the Israeli army deployed tanks along the border with Egypt following clashes that took place on Tuesday near an Israeli settlement in the area. Deploying tanks in the area in question violates the Camp David peace agreement signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979.Haaretz said that the army deployed, on Monday morning, two tanks in an area that, under the peace agreement, must be a tank-free and anti-tank missile free zone. The army withdrew its tanks later on, but will likely, according to certain reports, redeploy in the area to scout it for explosives or fighters.
Also, Israeli Ynet News, said that Israel is concerned about the escalation on the border with Egypt, and what it called the “state of insecurity in the Sinai Peninsula”, and added that Tel Aviv is now speeding up the construction of the wall that will stretch along the entire border with Egypt.
The paper added that the head of the Ramat Hanegev regional council of settlements, in the Negev, stated that “residents of areas in southern Israel are fortifying their settlements by installing electronic fences around these settlements, starting with Kadish settlement, in addition to widening the surrounding roads.
Haaretz said that the Monday morning attack along the Egyptian border with Israel, and the clashes on the Israel-Egypt border, are serious issues that are causing further instability of the security situation, especially amidst the current political instability and elections in Egypt.
The attack led to the death of three fighters and one Israeli, The army claims that a Palestinian armed group, operating on the Egyptian side of the border, fired an RPG shell at the army before engaging in an attack using automatic weapons.
Israeli political sources told Haaretz that what happened along the border raises questions about the ability of Egypt to control Sinai, as it became a hub for weapons trade and smuggling, and questions regarding the ability of the new president of Egypt to firmly maintain law and order in Sinai, especially along the border with Israel, as this issue will be a determining factor in the future of the relations between Tel Aviv and the new leadership in Cairo.
Israel believes that the instability in the Sinai Peninsula would lead to a dangerous security front, especially, according to Israeli officials, “if the Sinai area became a second Afghanistan”.
The Ynet News said that the Israeli army is also concerned about the future of the region, and that Israeli military officials are preparing for all scenarios, as according to Israel, “terrorist cells of the Al-Qaeda”, in addition to “fighters of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements” are operating in the area, and benefiting from the current situation in Egypt.