The cabinet on Thursday approved a request by Egypt to temporarily station five attack helicopters in the Sinai Peninsula, a departure from the security limitation established in 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, Walla News reported.

The Egyptians made the request after two days of heavy fighting between the military and Jihadi terrorist cells in the Sinai, during which helicopter gunships were deployed.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak had given Egypt permission to temporarily introduce the helicopters after terrorists killed 16 Egyptian soldiers and entered Israeli territory driving stolen military vehicles on Sunday night, before being thwarted by the IDF.

On Wednesday Egyptian helicopters killed 20 terrorists in Tumah, the first time attack helicopters were used in the Sinai since 1973.

Ministers were asked to approve the measure over the phone because of the request’s urgency.