Large Egyptian army forces are battling Jihad operatives in the Sinai Peninsula Tuesday as Israel maintains its heightened alert on the tense southern border with Egypt.
Israel upped its military presence along the border, including the deployment of two navy war ships, following a terror warning that had been received indicating that a cell comprising of 10 operatives was in Sinai and was planning to attack Israeli targets. Earlier this month, terrorists killed eight Israelis after infiltrating the border from Sinai…
The peace treaty limits the number of soldiers Egypt can maintain in the Sinai – it must be remember that the Sinai provides Israel with strategic depth vis a vis Egypt (and, of course, Egypt vis a vis Israel). For Israel’s security, the Sinai must either be Israeli, or it must be demilitarized so that in event of war, the IDF can swiftly seize all or most of it, thus protecting southern Israel. The Egyptian troops being sent to the Sinai are going with Israeli consent…with Israel, I guess, hoping that the Egyptian army will curb the actions of the terrorists.
It is to be hoped this will work out – but I doubt the reliability of the Egyptian army as an anti-terrorist force. Will the Egyptian army really go to work with a will against the terrorists? Or will it make a few spectacular raids while tacitly allowing the terrorists to maintain their forces and launch attacks on Israel? Time will tell – though Israel would at this point have been better off if they had never bargained land for peace in 1979. Now that Egypt risks becoming Islamist, the Israelis will come to regret they gave up their excellent defensive positions along the Suez Canal.