Egyptian Anti-Aircraft Missiles Reported in Sinai
According to a report on Voice of Israel government-sponsored radio, Egypt has moved anti-aircraft missiles into the Sinai Peninsula.
The radio station's Arab affairs analyst, Eran Zinger, reported Saturday that Egypt has deployed both anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles near Israel’s border in the Egyptian Sinai, without Israel’s permission.
Such equipment is prohibited in Sinai by the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. “Egypt is trying to change the situation in Sinai,” Zinger said.
If the report is true, the move is an overtly hostile one toward Israel and can only mean that Egypt is preparing for hostilities with the Jewish state. Ostensibly, Egyptian forces moved into Sinai only in order to crush terrorist activity there. However, the terrorists possess no aircraft. Therefore anti-aircraft missiles can only be intended against Israel's air force.
In the prelude to the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Egypt moved anti-aircraft missiles close to the Suez Canal, despite a commitment not to do so. Israel chose to ignore the move, and the result was catastrophic, when the missiles shot down numerous IAF jets after war broke out.
The Israeli government has asked Egypt to withdraw the armored vehicles it deployed in Sinai 11 days ago, in contravention of the peace treaty between the two nations, according to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which quotes Israeli sources.
Israel said that the deployment of armored forces in the El Arish area was only reported to it retroactively by Egypt, after the forces had already been deployed. Once Egypt supplied Israel with the full details about the extent of the deployment, the Jewish state asked Egypt to withdraw its armor from northern Sinai.