CAIRO [MENL] — Egypt has sent hundreds of troops to eastern Sinai.
Officials said the troops would man the 12-kilometer Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip. They said Israel has agreed to the arrangement.
So far, nearly 500 Egyptian police commandos have arrived in El Arish in northeastern Sinai, officials said. They said they would be joined by another 250 police troops later this week.
The deployment of the commandos would begin once Israel leaves the Egyptian-Gaza border. Officials said the Egyptian commandos would be supported by anti-tank rockets, armored personnel carriers and helicopters in an effort to maintain border security and stop weapons smuggling.
“Deployment will begin over the next week,” an official said. Officials said Egypt has been training the Palestinian Authority to take over border security from Israel. They said 2,000 Palestinian forces would be deployed along the border with Egypt.
Israel plans to complete the eviction of Jewish residents from the Gaza Strip this week and hand over the area to the PA. More than 85 percent of the 9,000 Jewish residents in the area were removed last week.