Israel has boosted its rocket defenses near its southern border with Egypt to counter possible attacks from Islamist militants fighting security forces in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, Israeli officials said.
Violence in Sinai has surged since the army ousted elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3, with militants killing at least 20 people in almost daily assaults in the area.
“We hear reports every day of attacks there and our concern is that the guns will be turned on us,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said. “We have indeed strengthened our deployment along the border.”
He was speaking on a visit to an “Iron Dome” missile defense system that was deployed last week in the southern town Eilat.
He said that since Morsi’s overthrow, Egypt had increased its efforts to curb militants who have exploited a security vacuum in the Sinai since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
“We can see much more effective activity of the Egyptian army and security forces there in the past few months and mainly in the past few weeks after the change in government,” Yaalon said.
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