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Israel nixes new Egyptian border troops

Israel rejected proposals for a boosted foreign military deployment on its border with Egypt.

Monday’s suicide bombing in Dimona stoked Israeli fears that Palestinian terrorists could be infiltrating the Jewish state from the Egyptian Sinai, having crossed over from the Gaza Strip.

Egypt has complained that its military garrison in the Sinai, which is limited in size under the 1978 peace deal with Israel, is insufficient to tackle infiltrators and smugglers.

Proposals have been made to post foreign peacekeepers along the border, which is mostly a line in the sand. But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office, after consulting with his Security Cabinet late Wednesday, said Jerusalem would not agree to new border deployments.

Instead, Israel plans to build a security fence along parts of the frontier. It also has stepped up military patrols and inspections.

Israeli officials have said Egypt’s current contingent  is enough to secure the border and that Cairo has yet to order a full crackdown.

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