Egypt and Israel
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|Saul Roth||August 21st 2012|
World Jewish Daily
After months of indulging an Egyptian military buildup in the Sinai desert, Israel has made its first official objection to the buildup's violation of the 1978 peace treaty between the two nations. The message was apparently motivated by the fear that the Egyptians are exploiting recent terrorist attacks in the Sinai in order to remilitarize the strategically important area permanently. These fears were exacerbated by the lack of communication and coordination between the two countries' security forces. While the IDF and the Egyptian army once worked closely together, since the Egyptian revolution and the election of a Muslim Brotherhood government, this contact has largely disappeared.
Egypt and Israel agreed to a demilitarized Sinai as part of a comprehensive bilateral peace agreement. A team of U.N. peacekeepers have maintained a presence there ever since. In return, Israel withdrew from the area, which it had occupied since the Six Day War, and Egypt was granted sovereignty over it.
Israel conveyed the message to Egypt through the White House, which is both an indication of how seriously Israel takes the issue and a telling sign of how far the breakdown in communication has gone. The message itself apparently demanded a more or less immediate withdrawal of Egyptian tanks from the Sinai and an end to further escalation.