Financial Times
Aug 20, 2011

Relations between Israel and Egypt are facing fresh strain in the wake of this week’s deadly cross-border raid by Palestinian militants, amid rising Israeli concern over what officials say is the lack of effective Egyptian security control in the Sinai peninsula.

Eight Israelis were killed and more than 20 injured by a gunmen near the Red Sea resort of Eilat on Thursday. Israel has blamed the attack on the Popular Resistance Committees, a Palestinian militant group based in the Gaza Strip. However, Israeli officials also point out that the assailants travelled more than 200 km through the Egyptian Sinai before crossing back into Israel and unleashing a wave of attacks on cars and buses driving close to the border.

Seven of the attackers were also killed, as were three Egyptian soldiers caught in the cross-fire. Egypt said on Friday it had formally complained to Israel over the killing of its troops, and demanded an “urgent investigation” into their death. An Egyptian official statement stopped short of accusing Israeli soldier of the killings, but said the men died as “Israeli forces dealt” with the armed attackers.

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