Report: Israel, Egypt Reach Understanding Over Military Deployment in Sinai

Egyptian military official tells Maan news agency that three days of talks between Israeli and Egyptian representatives have yielded significant progress over military presence in the peninsula.

An Egyptian military official says an understanding has been achieved between Israel and Egypt concerning deployment of troops in the Sinai Peninsula.

The official told the Palestinian news agency Maan that the sides have made significant progress during the talks at the Kerem Shalom crossing. Last Thursday, Haaretz reported that Egypt has deployed forces in Sinai without prior coordination with Israel.

The official added that the talks at Kerem Shalom lasted for three days and included six meetings. According to the official, Israel expressed concern over terrorist activity originating from Sinai, but was also alarmed by the deployment of Egyptian troops, mainly near the border between the two countries.

Earlier on Wednesday, an Egyptian military source said that the recent deployment of troops in the Sinai peninsula was fully coordinated with Israel.

The al-Masry al-Youm newspaper quoted a member of Egypt's Higher Military Council as saying that Egyptian forces entered Sinai only following consultations with Israel.

In light of Israeli qualms over Egyptian troops in Sinai, he said, the Egyptian leadership has been conducting direct talks with Israel on the subject in order to secure Egyptian control over the Sinai Peninsula.

The official said that Egypt heeded Israeli demands that it retreat its troops and tanks from Sinai, and noted that Egypt is committed to the Camp David accords.