Report: Israel Launched Numerous Drone Strikes in Sinai

The attacks have been carried out in recent years with Egypt's okay, former Israeli official tells Bloomberg. Israel's deputy army chief says cooperation between Israel and Egypt has never been better.

An Israeli drone circles over Gaza City on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014
AP

Israel has launched several drone strikes on militants in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in recent years, a former senior Israeli official told Bloomberg on Monday.

The attacks were carried out with Egypt's blessing, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. 

IDF deputy chief Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, also quoted in the article, said cooperation between Israel and Egypt has never been better. “It’s not about love, it’s not about common values," Golan told Bloomerg.

A file photo of an Egyptian policeman on an observation tower in Sinai, February, 2016.
Reuters

"I wouldn’t describe it as the relationship we have with the United States of America, but I think it’s a good starting point.”

The report cites "dozens of militant attacks by an Islamic State affiliate" as a reason for the tighter security cooperation between the two countries.

The article also details economic opportunities presented by Israeli, Egyptian ties, as the countries have also been laying legal groundwork for an energy contract following the discovery of natural gas at Israel's Leviathan and Tamar sites in the Mediterranean.

“In this time of turmoil and instability all around the Middle East, it’s very important for reasonable countries to keep some kind of cooperation,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz is quoted as saying.

The report also covered the visit to Israel by Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Sunday and his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Returning as a key power broker in the region would help burnish Egypt’s international image as it struggles to revive its economy," the report says. "Potential rewards would mitigate any increased risk of attack by militants because of closer ties to Israel."