JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel has authorized Egypt to deploy two more infantry battalions in the Sinai Peninsula to fight Islamist terrorists.
The authorization included permission to bring in a fleet of attack helicopters as well, Israel’s Army Radio reported Thursday.
Under the terms of the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty, Egypt must ask Israel for authorization before sending troops into the Sinai, which is supposed to remain demilitarized.
Egypt asked Israel for permission last week following a car bomb attack in the northern Sinai that left 30 Egyptian troops dead.
Following several deadly attacks on Egyptian troops in the Sinai, Egypt is also creating a security zone along its border with Gaza, forcing hundreds of families to leave their homes. The zone will be 8 miles long and 550 yards deep.
It is believed terrorists in Gaza are assisting the Islamist terrorists in the Sinai by providing arms and other support.
Egypt closed its Rafah border crossing with Gaza two weeks ago after another attack on its troops.