Egyptian army to guard Sinai gas line

Feb. 16, 2011 at 8:50 AM
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JERUSALEM, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Israel agreed to an Egyptian Army request to deploy hundreds of soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula to guard the gas pipeline, Yedioth Ahronoth said.

A report published by the Hebrew language daily Wednesday said Israel agreed to a request by the Egyptian military leadership to deploy hundreds of soldiers and officers to the Sinai Peninsula for a limited period in order to safeguard the strategic natural gas terminal and gas line that supplies Israel and Jordan.

Soldiers will remain until police succeed in stopping the Bedouin clashes and stabilize the area, the newspaper said.

The peace treaty signed between the two countries over three decades ago calls for a demilitarized zone in the Sinai Peninsula.

Earlier this month, Israel agreed to allow Cairo to deploy two battalions in the Sharm el-Sheik region and around Rafah near the Gaza Strip but refused a second request to dispatch additional soldiers days later.

On February 5 an explosion in the Egyptian natural gas line in the Sinai Peninsula cut off supplies to Israel and Jordan.

Egyptian Judge Abed Nasser el-Tayeb the chief investigator probing the incident ruled the explosion was caused by a terror attack when four masked men set off explosives by remote control in the gas terminal.

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