At least 17 persons dead and several others injured in Israeli in a series of terrorist attacks on Thursday.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a statement in relation to security assessments, saying that “it reflects Egypt’s failing hold on Sinai and the rise of terror elements.”
He added, “This terror attack originated from Gaza. We will exhaust all measures against the terrorists.” When Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down earlier this year, there was great concern in Israel that border with Egypt that has been quiet since the peace agreement three decades ago would come to demand more military attention.
When Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979, it was agreed that Israel should take its troops from the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt. In return, the Sinai is a demilitarized zone with only a limited number of Egyptian soldiers stationed.
Israeli officials confirmed that they had earlier in the week about a possible terrorist attack from the Sinai, if internal disagreements about how a serious threat that it had informed the preparation prevents more serious. The attacks targeted the city of Eilat, just 20 km from the Egyptian border.