Source Pravda.Ru

Egyptian troops to guard Gaza border

Egypt and Israel will sign a protocol on Thursday for the deployment of 750 Egyptian troops to its border with Gaza, according to this country's presidential spokesman.

"The singing of the protocol on the deployment of Egyptian troops on the Saladin corridor will be carried out today," Suleiman Awad told reporters without saying what time the signing would occur.

Egyptian and Israeli generals were expected to sign the accord in Cairo later Thursday to allow 750 lightly armed troops to deploy in the area, also referred to by Israel as the Philadelphi corridor, overriding a demilitarization clause in 1979 peace treaty between both countries.

The route is a volatile access road near the Rafah refugee camp on the border that had been the scene of frequent fighting during Israel's 38-year of Gaza.

Awad didn't give a time for the signing but said the actual deployment will be carried out "immediately" after it took place.

The deployment "Egypt's contribution to provide all elements of success for Gaza withdrawal," he added.

Israeli defense officials said Thursday that the Egyptian troops, waiting for the green light in the Sinai Desert town of El Arish, will begin deploying 72 hours after the signing, the Israeli officials said.

The deployment will take place even though both countries have failed to agree on whether Israel will oversee traffic into the coastal strip to stop weapons smuggling.

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