Sinai Bedouin guns pipeline_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Israel supports the Egyptian military operation in the Sinai Peninsula which it
hopes will restore law and order to the territory, believed to be home to a
growing number of al-Qaida terrorists, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on
On Sunday, the Egyptian military deployed 1,000 soldiers and
hundreds of armored personnel carriers in the Sinai with the aim of uprooting
terrorist infrastructure and restoring order to the peninsula which was lost
following the revolution in Egypt in February.
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One person was killed, and
16 others were arrested in Sinai on Monday as part of the raid launched by
Egyptian troops and policemen, state television said, according to the French
news agency AFP.
The Egyptian troops exchanged fire with the al- Qaida
suspects wanted by authorities, an official said.
“Ten people suspected
of involvement in the Sinai attacks were arrested,” the official said, adding
that three automatic rifles and four grenades were also seized, according to
Barak was supportive of the military action. “Due to a shift in
attention in Egypt, there has been a lack of order and control over the Sinai,”
he said during a tour of a future IDF military base in the Negev.
military asked to go in to restore its grip and we do not oppose it since it is
something that is in Egypt’s interest and will hopefully lead to a drop in
weapons smuggling [to the Gaza Strip].”
Last week, head of the Defense
Ministry’s diplomatic-security bureau Amos Gilad visited Cairo to discuss a wide
range of issues with the interim Egyptian government, including the operation in
Israel gave Egypt approval to insert the troops into the Sinai in
February to crack down on Beduin violence and to protect a pipeline that
supplies natural gas to Israel. The deployment was made under the condition that
the troops would withdraw the moment they are asked to by Israel.
the 1979 peace treaty, Israel returned Sinai to Egypt.
In return, Egypt
agreed to leave the area demilitarized.