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Egypt withdraws tanks from Sinai

JTA

September 3, 2012 | 11:19 am

An Egyptian army truck carries tanks and vehicles to Rafah city, some 350 km (217 miles) northeast of Cairo, Aug. 10.  Photo by REUTER/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

An Egyptian army truck carries tanks and vehicles to Rafah city, some 350 km (217 miles) northeast of Cairo, Aug. 10. Photo by REUTER/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egypt has withdrawn some 20 tanks from Sinai in response to Israel's security concerns, according to an unnamed Egyptian official.

The official spoke Monday to The Associated Press about the withdrawal, which comes a month after Egyptian troops, including tanks and other hardware, entered the Sinai in order to combat terrorism emanating from the peninsula and directed at both Egypt and Israel.

The 1979 Camp David peace accords stipulate that Sinai is to remain demilitarized, although in recent years Israel has agreed to exceptions in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks and stop cross-border infiltrations.

Meanwhile, it was reported Sunday in the Egyptian and Israeli media that a new Egyptian ambassador to Israel was deployed to Jerusalem and that his appointment will be confirmed this week.

Atef Salem, who previously served as Egypt's consul general in Eilat, is scheduled to present his credentials to Israeli President Shimon Peres next month.

The previous ambassador was recalled in August 2011 after three Egyptian security officers were killed by Israeli troops as they pursued terrorists in the Sinai.

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