[QODLink]
Middle East
Egypt and Israel 'co-operate' in Sinai
Army announces coordination in security sweep that began last month after 16 soldiers were killed in Sinai.
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2012 04:01
Thirty-two people were killed during "Operation Sinai", which began days after the 16 soldiers were killed [EPA]

Egypt and Israel are coordinating on Cairo's biggest security sweep in decades against fighters in Sinai, an army spokesperson said in the first clear statement on communication between the neighbours.

Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Ali told a news conference in Cairo on Saturday that 32 "criminal elements" were killed and 38 suspects arrested, including non-Egyptians, during the operation which began on August 7.

"Egypt is coordinating with the Israeli side over the presence of Egyptian armed forces in Sinai. They know this," he said. "The deployment of the armed forces on all the territory of Sinai is not a violation of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel."

An Israeli diplomatic source, who asked not to be identified, confirmed Ali's comments and told the AP news agency there was a "fluid dialogue between Israel and Egypt".

"The operation will continue until its goals have been achieved ... These are not just military goals but also developmental goals for the Sinai," Ali said.

The sweep began after fighters killed 16 border guards on August 5 in the worst attack since Egypt's 1973 war with Israel.

Ali said the operation "will continue until its goals have been achieved ... These are not just military goals but also developmental goals for Sinai".

Bedouin tribes in the area have long complained of neglect by the central government.

Hundreds of troops with tanks, armoured vehicles and helicopters were sent to Sinai in a joint operation with police
to raid hideouts, arrest suspects and seize weapons.

The Egyptian military is replacing some of its heavy tanks in Sinai with light armoured vehicles, security sources said this week.

Ali rejected the idea Egypt was pulling out its heavy equipment in response to pressure from Israel. He said the operation was entering a new phase that required different equipment.

298

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
New report highlights plight of domestic helpers in the United Kingdom, with critics comparing it to kefala system.
join our mailing list