About 750 Egyptian troops will begin deploying on the Gaza border this week. Under the deal with Israel, the Egyptians will prevent weapons smuggling in the volatile Philadelphia Corridor, the scene of frequent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists. "There is a strong Egyptian interest in ensuring that this border can prevent smuggling and I'm sure that they will stick to their commitment," military Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz told Army Radio. The deal clears the way for all Israeli troops to withdraw from Gaza by mid-September. Israeli critics say Egypt has turned a blind eye to Palestinian weapons smuggling during the past four years of conflict, and the deal will turn Gaza into a heavily armed terrorist enclave that will threaten the state of Israel.
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