The 1,650 strong Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai is keeping a low public profile amid growing Israeli concern that Egypt may be violating the 1979 Camp David Treaty by bringing heavy weaponry into Sinai without first coordinating with Israel.
A representative for the force queried by e-mail whether Egypt asked permission to move the weaponry in, and whether Israel granted it, replied that "we are unable to respond to queries from the media at this time." The MFO, made up of contingents from 12 different countries, is in Sinai to monitor and verify the demilitarization of the peninsula under the accords of the treaty.
This response came amid reports in both the Israeli and foreign media that Israel has turned to the US to mediate in the matter.
Asked about this, a US State Department official said he "cannot get into private diplomatic discussions."
The official added, however that, "We understand that the Israelis and Egyptians remain in communication on the issue of security efforts in the Sinai. Egyptian military leaders have reaffirmed Egypt's commitment to the peace treaty with Israel."