News Brief

Egypt is considering deploying troops in the Gaza Strip as part of a proposed future Arab peacekeeper force.

Channel 2 reported Saturday that Cairo, unnerved by the continued reign of Hamas Islamists in Gaza and the recent rupture of that territory’s border with the Egyptian Sinai, recently signaled that it could contribute troops for a peacekeeping garrison.

Egypt ruled Gaza before losing the territory to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, and a return of Egyptian forces to the strip would have major ramifications for Palestinian statehood hopes and the regional balance of power.

Though Israel could be expected to welcome the stability of an Egyptian presence in Gaza, it would pose a challenge to Israeli counter-measures should there be continued Palestinian cross-border attacks.

A Jerusalem official played down the Channel 2 report as “premature.”

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