Egypt is teaming with Israel for a major security operation to address terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.
Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi has vowed to restore order in the region, and to block Islamist terrorists from attacking Israel from the area, as well as carrying out other operations -- such as disrupting the flow of natural gas on the pipeline from El Arish to Jordan.
At least 32 “criminal elements” were killed and 38 suspects were detained in Sinai by Cairo within the past month, officials said at a news conference in Cairo on Saturday. "Egypt is coordinating with the Israeli side over the presence of Egyptian armed forces in Sinai. They know this,” Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Ali told reporters. "The deployment of the [Egyptian] armed forces on all of Sinai's territory is not a violation of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt,” he added, addressing a major concern expressed both privately and publicly in the Jewish State.
Israeli security sources confirmed the statement, saying that dialogue between the two countries over terrorism in Sinai is “ongoing” and that channels between the defense officials were “open.”
Terrorist groups have in recent years been using the Sinai as a training ground, and since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak, have become increasingly brazen. Some of the groups are believed to be linked to the international Al Qaeda terrorist organization.
Bedouin sources living in Sinai have also said that a vast array of weapons are being brought into Sinai from post-revolutionary Libya, and “many of the terrorists who were imprisoned and tortured before the revolution, and were released or escaped are now on the loose.”