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TEL AVIV — For the first time since 1967, Egypt has deployed
surface-to-air missiles along the border with Israel.
Israel has reported the Egyptian Army deployment of unidentified air
defense platforms in the Sinai Peninsula. Israel’s state radio said the
deployment took place around Aug. 16 and warned that this marked the greatest threat to the Jewish state.
“This was done without permission from Israel,” an Israeli source said.
This marked the first time Egypt brought SAM assets to the Israeli
border, which took place amid a counter-insurgency operation in Sinai. Israeli sources said Bedouin and Palestinian fighters in Sinai were not operating any aircraft.
“While Israel is prattling itself to death on the Iranian issue, the
decision makers here are choosing not to respond to the fact that Egypt is moving forces into Sinai, contrary to the terms of the peace agreement,” Avi Issacharoff, military correspondent for the Israeli daily Haaretz, said.
Over the last year, Israel has approved Egyptian deployment of thousands
of troops as well as main battle tanks, attack helicopters and F-16
multi-role fighters in an effort to quell the insurgency in Sinai. But
the sources stressed that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu was not approached by Egypt over the deployment of
“Egypt is trying to change the situation in Sinai,” Israel Radio’s Arab
affairs correspondent Ron Zinger said.