Israel has made it clear to Egypt and the U.S. that it will not accept any violation of the military appendix of the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, which mandates that the Sinai Peninsula remain demilitarized and that any changes occurring in the field be coordinated and agreed upon by both sides.
The message comes on the heels of increased Egyptian military hardware, including tanks and aircraft, into the lawless peninsula to be used against terrorist infrastructure, and reportedly without coordination from Israel, as stipulated in the peace treaty.
Speaking on Israel Radio on Wednesday, Amos Gilad, head of the Political Diplomatic Bureau at the Ministry of Defense, said Israel was in "constant contact" with the Egyptians and that Israel's message was being heard.
"When the Egyptians introduce weapons that are not included in the agreement we check it and we talk to the Egyptians about it. We have direct communication with the Egyptians and we have made it clear that we demand a complete adherence to the terms of the peace agreement.
"It is important to safeguard the Military Appendix of the peace agreement; it is the cornerstone of the peace agreement and regional stability. We look at the total regional picture: we have a changing Middle East, Iran going nuclear, and it is an important time to maintain the peace agreement. We will not agree to a violation of the Military Appendix of the peace agreement. Israel is keeping things in proportion, and we are standing fast by our interests," Gilad said.
"Egypt's new defense minister — Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi — was, in the past, the head of Egyptian military intelligence and the counterpart of the IDF OC Planning Division, the IDF officer responsible for contact with the Egyptians under the Camp David Accords. Our messages are being heard and we are hearing them clearly," Gilad said.
Contrary to reports in the Egyptian media, there are no anti-aircraft systems in the Sinai, Gilad added.
"We are in constant contact with the Egyptians. They are fighting against an al-Qaida-like group of terrorists whose aim is to carry out strategic attacks that would force a confrontation between Israel and Egypt," Gilad said.