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'Egypt won't amend Camp David Accords without Israel'

August 31, 2011 10:32

Egyptian military official tells 'al-Youm as-Sabaa' "extremist elements" trying to stir up unrest with Israel, isolate people of Sinai.

An Egyptian soldier on the Israel-Egypt border

Egyptian soldier sinai 311 R. (photo credit:REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Any amendment to the Camp David Accords, the agreement that ended decades-long hostilities between Egypt and Israel, must be made in coordination with the governments in Cairo and Jerusalem, Egyptian newspaper al-Youm as-Sabaa reported Tuesday.

According to Egyptian military official Ismail Otman, the peace treaty is not being altered in any way at the present time, al-Youm as-Sabaa reported, despite attempts by "extremist elements to drive a wedge between that people of Sinai and the [Egyptian] military on the one hand, and also cause unrest with Israel."

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The report comes on the heels of a four-day demonstration outside the Israeli embassy where Egyptian protesters, enraged over the deaths of five Egyptian security personnel on the Israeli border, demanded the treaty be annulled, and one man even climbing 21 stories to rip the Israeli flag from its perch.

While the noise outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo has mostly quieted down, and the blue-and-white flag flies once again on the embassy building, the issue remains contentious amongst many Egyptians.

And despite tensions between the government in Cairo and Jerusalem as well, Egypt has at the same time shown an interest in helping to maintain stability and security along the border in Sinai which runs along Gaza and Israel.

On Tuesday, while reports circulated in Israel that a 10-man terror cell was planning to attack Israelis, Egypt continued its military operation to hunt down jihadi groups in the northern Sinai Peninsula, adding some 1,500 soldiers and police officers - supported by tanks and armored vehicles - in the area, al-Masry al-Youm reported Monday. Egyptian forces began combing the cities of El-Arish, Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah, near the Gaza border.

Fearing a spike in violence on the Id al-Fitr holiday, authorities reportedly called on Beduin tribal elders to urge would-be terrorists not to engage in violent acts.

Yaakov Katz and Oren Kessler contributed to this report.
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