Egypt Seeks Wider Military Deployment in Sinai

YERUSHALAYIM -

Egypt is seeking to deploy large military forces in the northern Sinai in order to combat terrorist groups in the region, a move that would require Israel’s agreement under the Camp David peace accord.

The Egyptian army filed a request earlier this week, according to the Times of London on Thursday.

The request comes as some elements in Cairo are reportedly calling for a review of the provisions of the peace treaty that restrict the Egyptian military presence in Sinai.

In the latest violence in northern Sinai, an attempt was made to assassinate the commander of Egypt’s Second Army, General Ahmed Wasfy, according to an Egyptian army spokesman. The army arrested the driver of the car used by a gunman, who escaped. Wasfy was not hurt.

On Tuesday night, two people were killed and six wounded when Islamist terrorists attacked a security checkpoint in the northern Sinai with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns, security sources said.

Both Israel and the U.S. are said to be receptive to the Egyptian request, but no official statements were forthcoming.

Egypt has already sent several brigades of troops into Sinai, but it claims much more force is needed to rein in heavily armed terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida.