'Egypt's tanks are in Sinai for fighting terrorism'

Former Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin says Israel should allow Egypt's Sinai military boost for counter-terrorism.

August 22, 2012 18:12
1 minute read.
Egyptian tanks arriving in Sinai city of Rafah

Egyptian tanks arriving in Sinai city of Rafah 370 (R). (photo credit: Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters)


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Former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said Wednesday that Egypt’s deployment of tanks to Sinai should not be a worry for Israel so long as Egypt cracks down on terrorist groups operating in the peninsula.

“Terrorism is fought with tanks,” Yadlin, currently head of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, told Army Radio during an interview.

Yadlin argued that if the Egyptian operation in Sinai proves to be a wide-ranging counter-terrorism maneuver, Israel would need to adopt a realistic view of the presence of Egyptian forces.

Israel has already given Egypt approval to insert more military forces than the quantity specified by the 1979 Camp David peace treaty, Yadlin added.

In an apparent response to comments Tuesday by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who said Israel must ensure that every letter of the peace treaty is enforced, Yadlin said there is no need to latch on to every letter of the agreement.

“What the Egyptians are doing in Sinai today is a more significant effort than in the past to deal with terrorism,” Yadlin said. “So long as the operation is widespread and focused against terrorism, I think we need to look at this realistically.”

Earlier this month, an Israeli source told The Jerusalem Post he was confident that American leverage over Egypt, in the form of a $1.3 billion annual military aid package, would be sufficient to ensure that Egypt sticks to the peace treaty.

The source, who spoke soon after President Mohamed Morsy ousted military chiefs and the defense minister and replaced them with new appointments, said that the Egyptian military will continue to rely on US aid.

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