Mohammed Youssef, an official with the Egyptian State Information Service based in the Egyptian border city of Rafah, said 200 soldiers were deployed on Saturday and the remainder would take their places during the next week.

 

"This is the beginning of the deployment of 750 Egyptian border soldiers along the Philadelphi corridor according to the agreement between the Egyptians and the Israelis to maintain security along the Gaza-Egypt border after the Israeli withdrawal," Youssef said.

 

Youssef said the soldiers will be responsible for preventing infiltration of weapons and drugs into the Palestinian-controlled area.

 

The soldiers deploying along the Philadelphi corridor - known to Arabs as the Saladin corridor - will be able to carry heavy machine guns and rocket propelled grenade launchers, Youssef added.

 

The troops are deploying to an area near the Rafah refugee camp, which has been a frequent scene of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians.