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Israel-Egypt Forge New Ties Over Sinai

The United States is no longer the glue between Israel and Egypt.
An Israeli military vehicle drives along Israel's border with Egypt's Sinai desert, near the Nitzana crossing August 20, 2013. Egypt began three days of official mourning for 25 policemen killed on Monday by suspected Islamist militants in the Sinai near the desert border with Israel. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX12RGP
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Last week, Egypt embarked on its most extensive military operation in the Sinai peninsula in almost half a century. The target of this unprecedented deployment is an array of disaffected Egyptians and jihadi foreigners intent upon defying the seat of Egyptian power and sovereignty centered in Cairo.

Israel is a key partner in this Egyptian effort. Ironically, the anarchy in Sinai has prompted a new era of enhanced security cooperation between Israel and Egypt. The promise of the Arab Spring may be uncertain, but the Jerusalem-Cairo axis is one arena where a newly energized system of relations is being forged on the crumbling foundations of the old order. Egypt and Israel are creating a new basis for mutually beneficial relations, in the process ignoring not only key aspects of their historic peace treaty signed in 1979, but also reducing the role of what was once deemed to be the critical actor in that relationship — the United States. 

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