Israeli government officials are dismissing a media report that thousands of Egyptian military personnel will be allowed into the Sinai Peninsula.

According to a report broadcast Sunday morning on Voice of Israel government radio, Egypt has not asked to increase the number of troops in Sinai, other than to add 1,000 police officers in the Peninsula in order to deal with the terrorist groups.

Officials said, however, that Israel and Egypt have a “shared interest” in ensuring calm in the region, and that if an official request is made, it would be considered.

The Egyptian Gazette and numerous other Arab media are reporting that Israel and Egypt are planning to reconfigure the Camp David Accord to allow for increased military personnel in Sinai.

“Sometimes you have to subordinate strategic considerations to tactical needs,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told The Economist on Friday.

The magazine reported that Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were “going to agree to Egypt deploying thousands of troops in Sinai even though the Israel-Egypt peace treaty strictly forbids it. They will have helicopters and armoured vehicles... but not tanks beyond the lone battalion already stationed there,” the magazine reported.

A terrorist cell comprised of some 20 members carried out a multi-site cross-border attack just north of Eilat on August 18, killing eight Israelis and wounding at least 40 others. Most of those killed were civilians, though some were soldiers. IDF soldiers fought back, killing ten of the attackers.

Investigations by Israeli and Egyptian officials came up with the same conclusions: The terrorist cell had originated in Gaza but had infiltrated easily into the Sinai Peninsula a month earlier, camped and trained there before embarking on the operation. At least three of the terrorists were Egyptian nationals.

Since the revolution in Tahrir Square that toppled the government of former President Hosni Mubarak, Sinai has become an increasingly lawless territory. But it was not entirely under government control prior to the Arab Spring in any event.

Two years ago, Hamas terrorists breached the border between Gaza and Egypt, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Authority Arabs poured into Egypt. Thousands of terrorists grabbed the opportunity to infiltrate into the Sinai along with those who were simply racing towards an unexpected shopping trip.

Since that time, the United States promised to help seal the border – and prevent the construction of further terrorist smuggling tunnels – by sinking a deep metal barrier between the two. The barrier is not finished, but the Egyptian leader who was at least somewhat committed to its construction is now long gone.