Israeli Channel 7 reported that Israeli and Egyptian officials confirmed that the Egyptian military activities, targeting armed extremists in Sinai, are conducted in coordination with Israel.Channel 7 quoted an Egyptian official stating that media reports about tension between Tel Aviv and Cairo are false, adding that the deployment of Egyptian Tanks and armored vehicles in Sinai was conducted in direct coordination with Israel.
The official allegedly said that “the war against terrorist groups in Sinai is a joint Egyptian-Israeli interest”, and that “there is an agreement between the two countries regarding the current operations”.
It is worth mentioning that Amos Gilad, Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Israel Ministry of Defense, stated that “Israel is not concerned about the deployment of Egyptian tanks in Sinai, and the military operations there”.
Gilad confirmed that all military operations in Sinai are conducted in direct and ongoing coordination with Israel.
Furthermore, the United States said that it supports Egypt’s operations in Sinai, and said that Egypt must ensure it does not violate the Camp David peace agreement with Israel.
The U.S. Administration said that Washington believes that the Egyptian military operations “do not only serve the interests of Egypt, but also serve the interests of all countries in the region”.
An Egyptian military source also said that the operations in Sinai target “terrorist groups”, and that “all activities were coordinated with Israel’, the Palestine News Network reported.
The source told Reuters that Cairo is not obliged to provide Israel with daily reports regarding its military activities; “as such operations are sovereign actions that are meant to protect Egypt and its national security”.
Several Egyptian media outlets said that a number of tanks were also deployed in Al-Arish city “to protect it from any infiltration or attacks by terrorist groups”.
Israel recently objected to the deployment of tanks and artillery in the “no-weapons zone” in Sinai, and said that this issue violates the peace agreement between the two countries.
The deployment of heavy equipment in Sinai did not lead to a crisis between Cairo and Tel Aviv, despite media reports claiming tension between the two countries.
On Monday, several Israeli military and security officials said that said that they are in direct communication with Cairo and that they encouraged the newly-elected Islamist leadership to act decisively against the armed groups in Sinai.
The peace agreement of 1979, singed under American supervision, imposes restrictions on the deployment of the Egyptian army in Sinai.