A former senior Israeli official unveiled that Israel has conducted numerous drone strikes against different sites related to what he described as terrorists in Sinai in recent years, reported Bloomberg.
In the same context, Haaretz-Israeli newspaper- has quoted a former senior Israeli official as saying that the attacks were carried out with Egypt’s blessing.
It also reported that the 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 Bloomberg.
The report came amid improved ties between the countries which saw Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem this week.
Shoukry’s visit marked the first by an Egyptian foreign minister to Israel since 2007 and it also reflects the close ties in the Egyptian-Israeli relations during al-Sisi presidency-who reached power in a military coup in 2013 against Mohamed Morsi the first democratically elected president of Egypt.
In the last few months, many senior Israeli officials have praised al-Sisi leadership and described him as the “suitable man”.
Since the military coup, the Egyptian and Israeli forces are cooperating together in launching a wide military campaign against those who have been described as”Takfiris” insurgencies in north Sinai.
Sinai Peninsula has witnessed the rise of Islamic militant groups such as Sinai Province-a group affiliated to ISIS and Agnad Masr that carried out various attacks against hundreds of police and armed forces.
In the same context, Israel perceives that there is a common threat facing both countries as it accused the Hamas resistance movement in Gaza of providing material support for ISIS operatives as well as medical treatment for terrorists wounded in Egypt who sneak back into Gaza.
Last year, a senior IDF official warned that it was “only a matter of time” before terrorists in Sinai attempt to strike Israel and that forces stationed on the border have trained for such a scenario.
In this context, Egypt has worked to stop the flow of Islamic insurgencies between Gaza and Sinai, flooding the smuggling tunnels linking the two areas.
In order to help Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s battle against the terrorist presence in Sinai, Israel has allowed Egypt to increase the number of forces deployed in Sinai. The number is capped under the Camp David peace accords signed between the two states in 1979 and any Egyptian troop increase in the area requires Israeli approval.