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Securing the Sinai

More Troops Won't Keep the Peace or Save the Egyptian-Israeli Relationship

Courtesy Reuters

Instability in Sinai has escalated to unprecedented levels in the last two months. Militants have committed attacks against government offices and infrastructure and used the territory to stage assaults against Israel. The latest incidents -- the August 18 terror attack in Eilat, in southern Israel, and the subsequent killing of Egyptian policemen on the Egyptian-Israeli border by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers -- have brought Egypt and Israel to the lowest point in relations during their 30-year peace.

The most immediate cause of the heightened tensions in the Sinai is the collapse of the Egyptian police force as a result of the February revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak. As Mubarak's rule was unraveling in January and February, Bedouin protesters battled the police in Sinai towns with machine guns and grenades, forcing them to withdraw. They have not returned. The resulting security vacuum has allowed smuggling and infiltration into and

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