Two Egyptian security sources said Cairo has sent about 40 tanks and armored personnel carriers to northeastern Sinai over the past two weeks, while the Israeli press reported that the Israeli army has approved a military operation in Rafah.
The forces were deployed before Israel expanded its military operations to include the city of Rafah (south of Gaza), which displaced most of the Gaza Strip's residents in search of safe haven, forcing Palestinians to evacuate. Egyptian apprehensions about the possibility of Leaving Gaza en masse.
Egypt's military steps come within the framework of a series of measures to increase security on its borders with the Gaza Strip.
In the development, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that the Israeli army has approved a military operation in Rafah. The newspaper said preparations for the operation in Rafah had begun weeks ago, and the army had already approved a plan that included the evacuation of displaced persons.
For its part, the official Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said the military operation in Rafah would begin after the completion of a “mass evacuation” of civilians from the city and its suburbs.
Israeli warplanes bombed Rafah on Friday and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army to be ready to evacuate displaced persons.
Since the outbreak of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, Egypt has erected a concrete border wall, with a foundation extending 6 meters into the ground and barbed wire installed on top. Egypt also erected sand barriers and increased surveillance at border posts, two security sources said.
For its part, Egypt's State Information Service – last month – detailed some of the measures taken by Egypt on its borders in response to Israel's claim that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) had received smuggled weapons from Egypt .
The authority said that 3 rows of barriers will make it impossible to smuggle anything from above or below ground.
Satellite photos taken last December and January show some new construction along the 13-kilometre border near Rafah and the extension of the wall to the sea at the northern end of the border.