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Blame for Sinai Tension Also Lies in Cairo

Continued violence in Sinai is prompting calls within Egypt for a revision of its treaty with Israel, but state neglect is also to blame.
Egyptian security forces and emergency personnel inspect the bus at the site of a road accident in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on May 31, 2013 which left four Mexican tourists killed. Seventeen tourists, all Mexican, were injured in the crash, South Sinai's governor told AFP, adding that two were in critical condition. AFP PHOTO/STR        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

CAIRO — The liberation of seven kidnapped Egyptian soldiers on May 22 in northern Sinai raised several questions about the security vacuum along the Egyptian border with Israel and Palestine.

The Egyptian border with Israel is nearly 256 kilometers long (159 miles) — 270 km (168 miles), if its border with Gaza is included. There was a heavy presence of Egyptian troops and aircraft in Sinai before the soldiers were released, despite the Camp David Accords and the Egypt-Israel peace treaty signed in 1979 stipulating that no Egyptian soldiers are allowed within 20 km to 40 km of the Sinai-Israel border, while 750 Egyptian police officers are allowed.

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