In secret alliance, Israel carries out airstrikes in Egypt

An Israeli soldier stands on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza near the opening of a tunnel that Israel says

The weekend also served up a highly publicized report by The New York Times that Israeli forces had carried out more than 100 airstrikes in Egypt over the course of more than two years with Cairo's approval.

The attacks were carried out at the request of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in order to aid Egypt in fighting against ISIS terrorists in northern Sinai, the sources told The New York Times.

The report noted that the Israeli drones used in the operations are unmarked while the helicopters and fighter jets cover their markings.

While there have always been suggestions of behind-the-scenes military and intelligence cooperation between Egypt and Israel, officials from both countries rarely comment publicly on them. Northern Sinai is a closed military area, barring reporters from the region. It named former and current British and American officials involved in Middle East policy as its sources.

Israel began the airstrikes after a Russian plane was shot down by terrorists over Sinai in October 2014, the report said.

With Cairo lagging in the fight against Islamic State, Israel, which grew increasingly anxious because of the security situation in the nearby North African country sought to intervene, a report by New York Times revealed.

However, Israel has complained to the USA that Egypt is not upholding its end of the agreement, and that Cairo was supposed to follow up on the airstrikes by sending ground forces into the region.

The secret alliance is known to only a select group of military and intelligence officials, the report said.

The Israel-Egypt collaboration "is the most dramatic evidence yet of a quiet reconfiguration of the politics of the region", indicating Arab countries' growing interest in developing ties with Israel.

When then-secretary of state John Kerry proposed that kind of regional agreement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "scoffed at the idea", Saturday's report said.

"Israel does not want the bad stuff that is happening in the Egyptian Sinai to get into Israel", he said.

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