Sinai Peninsula
Sinai PeninsulaIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon approved on Monday a request by the Egyptian military to bring in two more infantry battalions into the Sinai Peninsula, as part of Egypt’s ongoing crackdown on terrorists operating in the region.

One battalion will enter the Rafiah area in order to prevent smuggling of terrorists and arms from Gaza and to protect the city of El-Arish, which has been targeted by several terrorist attacks over the past few days. The second battalion will be stationed in central Sinai to act against Salafist terrorist groups.

The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian army.

On Sunday evening, unidentified gunmen opened fire on an IDF position on the border with the Sinai.

The two masked gunmen reportedly opened fire before escaping into the desert in an all-terrain vehicle. No one was injured in the clash, for which the Muslim Brotherhood later claimed responsibility through a Facebook page associated with the movement.