A former high-ranking Israeli official says Israel has carried out numerous drone strikes purportedly against militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula with Egyptian consent over the past few years, implying close cooperation between Tel Aviv and Cairo.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Bloomberg news network on Monday that the attacks were being carried out with the blessing and consent of the Egyptian government.
The Sinai Peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, following a deadly terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 33 soldiers.
Over the past years, militants have been carrying out anti-government activities and deadly attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil caused in Egypt after democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in July 2013.
Velayat Sinai terrorists have carried out most of the attacks, mainly targeting the army and police.
In November 2014, the group pledged allegiance to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which is mainly wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.
‘Netanyahu to attend Cairo summit’
Meanwhile, reports say Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has agreed to take part in a tripartite summit in the Egyptian capital with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The idea of the Cairo summit was apparently discussed during a meeting between Netanyahu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who was in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Sunday.
Shoukry claimed in a joint press conference with the Israeli prime minister that Cairo is committed to a “two-state” solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip. They are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian lands.
Israel, however, has refused to withdraw and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.
Relations between Egypt and the Israeli regime have been warming since Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — who spearheaded Morsi’s ouster — took power as the president of the North African country in 2014.
Egypt is contributing to the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip by refusing to allow Gazans through the only crossing that by-passes Israel, namely the Rafah border crossing, which leads into Egyptian territory.
The Egyptian government has also been destroying or flooding with water the underground tunnels that Gazans have dug to bring in much-needed foodstuff and construction material following the latest Israeli war on the coastal enclave in 2014.