Egypt has more than doubled the number of its soldiers stationed in the Sinai Peninsula to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group, i24news reported Wednesday, citing Israel's public broadcaster Kan.
The peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979 imposed strict limitations on Egyptian deployment in the Sinai, and any Egyptian incursion in the Sinai requires coordination with Israel.
In recent years Israel has notably permitted the Egyptian military to boost its presence in the peninsula several times as it fights the insurgency by the local ISIS affiliate.
According to Wednesday’s report, Israel has agreed to successive requests from Cairo, leading to a massive accumulation of Egyptian forces in the territory.
However Israeli officials told Kan that on several occasions the Egyptian military sent additional soldiers into the Sinai without a green light from Israel, prompting the IDF to file a complaint with the international monitoring force that monitors the peace treaty.
Several weeks ago, The New York Times reported that Israel has launched air strikes against ISIS targets in northern Sinai with Egyptian approval.
The report, which cited U.S. and British sources, claimed Israeli aircraft attacked targets in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula over 100 times in the past two years.
Egypt’s military spokesperson later vehemently denied the report, insisting it was not “credible” and adding that the Egyptian army is the sole entity that is conducting military operations in co-operation with local police forces in certain areas in North Sinai.