Shafaq News /The New York Times reported, on Saturday, on Cairo's "threat" to suspend the 1979 peace treaty with Israel following the latter's intention to invade Rafah in southern Gaza and force the residents of the Gaza Strip to flee to Sinai, indicating that Cairo does not rule out "militarizing the borders".
The newspaper quoted a senior Western diplomat in Cairo as saying that "Egyptian officials urged their Western counterparts to inform Israel that they consider any move to force Gaza residents to cross into Sinai as a violation that would effectively suspend the 1979 peace treaty."
According to the newspaper, another senior Western official, an American official, and an Israeli official said the message was more direct, as Egypt threatened to suspend the treaty if the Israeli army forced Gaza residents into Egypt.
The Israeli official stated that "the Egyptian government reiterated this warning to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday." Meanwhile, the American official stated that "Egypt has clarified its readiness to militarize its borders, possibly with tanks, if Palestinians are pushed into Sinai."
The Israeli official added that "military officers from both countries, who have a long-term relation of trust resulting from security cooperation along the borders, also discuss the potential Israeli incursion into Rafah."
Furthermore, in those discussions, Egyptians asked Israel to limit the scope of the operation.
Two Egyptian security sources stated that Cairo "has sent around 40 tanks and armored personnel carriers to northeastern Sinai in the past two weeks as part of a series of measures to enhance security along its border with Gaza."
Forces are deployed before Israel expands its military operations to include Rafah in southern Gaza, where most of the Strip's residents have fled in search of safety, exacerbating Egypt's concerns about the possibility of forcing Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip en masse.
Israeli warplanes bombed Rafah on Friday, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army to prepare to evacuate the displaced.
Notably, Egypt has erected a concrete border wall with a foundation six meters deep and topped with barbed wire since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7. The security sources stated that Egypt has also established sand barriers and enhanced surveillance at border deployment sites, according to Reuters.