Israel Approves Addition of Egyptian Troops in Sinai

Israel has accepted Egypt's deployment of additional military forces to improve security in the Sinai peninsula, said a senior Israeli official told AFP on Friday. The official, asking not to be his identity, asserted in an article in the British magazine the Economist, in which Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel had approved the additions.

The magazine said that Egypt is planning to deploy helicopters, armored vehicles and thousands of additional troops in the Sinai, but Israel opposes the addition of the tanks in the region. The decision followed an August 18 attack by gunmen who infiltrated southern Israel from the Sinai for a series of shootings on the buses and mpbil-cars on the road along the Egyptian border.

Eight Israelis were killed and at least 26 wounded in the attack. During the chase the killers, five Egyptian police apparently killed by gunfire during the Israeli army to pursue the attackers, who sparked a diplomatic crisis between Egypt and Israel.

Barak told The Economist that the decision to accept the additional deployment of Egyptian troops have been approved by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "All this information is correct," said the senior Israeli official told AFP, referring to the magazine article.

The number of Egyptian troops in Sinai is limited based on the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979. Egyptian military, which took power after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February, has said it will honor the treaty.

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