Report: IDF to okay bolstered Egyptian forces in Sinai after deadly attacks

IDF has been closely following deadly firefights that have ensued between Egyptian forces, Islamist fighters near the Israel border.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
July 1, 2015 22:03
2 minute read.
sinai smoke

Smoke rises in Egypt's North Sinai as seen from the border of southern Gaza Strip with Egypt July 1, 2015. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The IDF has reportedly decided to grant all Egyptian requests to reinforce troops in the Sinai Peninsula hours after Islamic State-linked insurgents killed dozens of people Wednesday in a slew of attacks in the region's north, according to Channel 2.

As a part of the 1979 peace treaty signed by Israel and Egypt, each country must approve any additional military forces in the area on either side of the border.

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The IDF has been closely following the deadly exchanges of fire that ensued between Egyptian forces and Islamist fighters near the Israel border, following the terrorists' assault on multiple Egyptian checkpoints. The rising death toll from the attacks was at 100 by Wednesday night.
Alleged video of today's Sinai attacks surfaces on social media‏

Also on Wednesday evening, Egypt's general command for the armed forces said the army had killed at least 100 militants in North Sinai, after the attack on military checkpoints.

The statement, which was aired on state television, said 17 soldiers, including four officers, were also killed. Thirteen soldiers were also wounded.

Earlier Wednesday, Israel closed the Niztana and Kerem Shalom border crossings following the attacks in Egypt's North Sinaiin one of the biggest coordinated assaults yet in the insurgency-hit province.

Islamic State's Egypt affiliate, Sinai Province, claimed responsibility for the attacks against security forces in North Sinai. The group said it had attacked more than 15 security sites, and had carried out three suicide attacks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent condolences to Egypt for the terrorist attacks that rocked that country on Wednesday.

“Terrorism is knocking on our borders,” he said. “Islamic State is not only across from the Golan Heights, it is also in Egypt, across from Rafah, in other words across from our borders,” he said. “And we are together with Egypt and many other states in the Middle East and the world in the struggle against extreme Islamic terrorism.”

Soldiers, policemen, civilians and militants were among the dead in the Sinai attacks.

The assault - a significant escalation in violence in the Sinai Peninsula that lies between Israel, the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal - was the second high-profile attack in Egypt this week. On Monday, a bomb killed the prosecutor-general in Cairo.

The insurgents, who have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, want to topple the Cairo government and have stepped up their campaign since 2013, when then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi removed President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood after mass protests against his rule.

Sisi, who regards the Brotherhood as a threat to national security, has since overseen a harsh crackdown on Islamists.

Security sources said the militants had planned to lay siege to the town of Sheikh Zuweid.

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