sinai blast 298 ap.
(photo credit: AP)
Egyptian security forces arrested one of the two suspected Palestinian terrorists believed to be plotting suicide attacks on tourist sites in Sinai, Al-Arabiya television network reported on Thursday evening.
Israel Radio said that the report was yet to be confirmed.
Earlier Thursday, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau urged Israeli citizens in Sinai to return to Israel immediately and advised Israelis against planning vacations there in the near future.
Hundreds of state-security forces and military intelligence personnel launched a search Thursday morning in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula looking for the two Palestinians.
The search began a day after 23 Palestinians and Egyptians were arrested and confessed to plotting a series of attacks against tourists, mainly Israelis in southern Sinai resorts.
Among those arrested was a young Palestinian, wearing an explosives belt, who had entered Egypt illegally at Rafah through an underground tunnel from the Gaza Strip.
The state security forces and intelligence personnel were deployed to Rafah, El-Arish and several other northern Sinai towns in search of two additional Palestinians, believed to be suicide bombers, according to a state security official speaking on condition of anonymity, because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Another intelligence official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the two were carrying belts of explosives and that they are plotting an attack in the southern Sinai.
The two were believed to have rented cars to head south, the intelligence official added.
Egypt has suffered a string of suicide terror attacks in recent years at Sinai tourist resorts.
Egypt, Israel and the Palestinians have also debated how best to control the border with Gaza, to prevent smuggling of weapons into Gaza and the infiltration of extremists into Egypt.