Israel’s defense minister praised Egypt’s efforts to combat militants in the Sinai Peninsula but is asking Cairo to remove its forces there when the military operation ends.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio on Thursday that Israel is asking Egyptian officials to coordinate all future military activity in the area.
Egypt’s tank deployment near its borders with Israel and Gaza earlier this month drew complaints from Israel that the move was done without approval.
The deployment followed an Islamist attack on Egyptian security forces in Sinai earlier this month that killed 16, after which the terrorists crossed into Israel near Kerem Shalom. The terrorists were eventually engaged and stopped by Israeli forces.
According to the peace treaty between the two countries, the Sinai peninsula is to remain demilitarized unless the two sides consent to another arrangement.
Israel quietly agreed to Egypt sending troops to the area, but not tanks. Egypt removed about a dozen tanks near the Gaza border Wednesday, but officials gave no reason for the pullback.
Greg Tepper contributed to this report