Monday, June 18, 2012

Report: Israel moves tanks to Egypt border

Occupied Palestine

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel’s army moved military tanks towards the country’s border with Egypt on Monday, after an earlier cross-border attack killed a man working on Israel’s barrier on the frontier, Israeli media reported.

Israeli news site Ynet said the unusual move to deploy tanks on the border was in breach of the Camp David peace treaty between the countries, which requires the area to remain demilitarized.

The tanks were later withdrawn from the area, and the Israeli army said the move was in response to the attack earlier Monday, and it has no plans to leave tanks on the border, Israeli daily Haaretz said.

Israel and Egypt had agreed in recent months that Cairo could deploy 20 tanks near the border to ward off Bedouin attacks, despite the demilitarization clause of the peace treaty, Ynet reported.

The 1978 Camp David Accords led to Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, the first by an Arab country.

Earlier Monday, militants fired on an Israeli crew building a border barrier on the Egyptian frontier on Monday, killing a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and Israeli soldiers shot dead two of the infiltrators, the military said.

The incident, hours after Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory in the country’s presidential election — disputed by the rival candidate — raised Israeli concern about lawlessness in Egypt’s Sinai desert since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

“We can see a disturbing deterioration in Egypt’s control of the Sinai’s security,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, commenting on the attack.

“We are waiting for the election results. Whoever wins, we expect him to take responsibility over all of Egypt’s international commitments,” he told reporters in a reference to Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

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