Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has agreed to an Egyptian request to deploy two infantry battalions and helicopters in the terror-plagued Sinai, another relaxation of the allowed number of Egyptian troops permitted in the Sinai under the 1979 treaty.
Th peace treaty stipulates that Israel must agree to additional troops.
For the time being, Israel is happy that President Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi is fighting Hamas and jihad terror in the Sinai, immediately south of Gaza, where a jihad attack last week killed 31 Egyptian soldiers. Cairo has charged that Hamas was involved in coordinating and carrying out the murders.
This is not the first time Israel has agreed to Egypt’s sending in more armed soldiers into the Sinai, which was used by the Egyptian regime in 1973 to start the Yom Kippur War. The issue rose after the fall of the Mubarak regime, and Knesset Members unsuccessfully argued that legislative approval was necessary before Egypt could beef up its presence in the Sinai, a move which also would give it an opportunity in the future to turns its guns on Israel in the future.
In 2012, Egypt moved in tanks without Israel approval.
“It is clear to everyone that the Egyptians — whether they succeed in dealing with the terror in Sinai or don’t — at some point are going to ask to open the military appendix,” Yediot Acharonot journalist Alex Fishman wrote at the time.. “The meaning of this is that the demilitarization of Sinai will be eroded, which is one of the most important anchors of the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.”
The recent approval to deploy additional soldiers is conditioned on Egypt’s fighting “terrorist organizations,” Army Radio reported.
In the past four years, Egypt has gone through the Mubarak regime, a temporary military regime, the openly anti-Israel and anti-American Muslim Brotherhood government, another temporary military regime and now the government headed by al-Sisi.
What happens if the Islamists take over again, or if Abbas takes over Gaza and convinces Al-Sisi to oppose Israel until” Jerusalem is liberated”?
The Egyptian government will be armed to the teeth in the Sinai with Israel conveniently in range of its tanks.