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Military and strategic expert Maj. Gen. Fayez al-Duwairi said Israel's request to Egypt to place sensors along the Philadelphia axis with the Gaza Strip is aimed at cutting off communication between Gaza and the world.

Al-Duwairi explained – in his military analysis to Al-Jazeera – that the Israeli request appears to be a pretext to prevent the Qassam Brigades – the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) – from digging deep tunnels to the Sinai Peninsula in order to smuggle food and weapons.

He added that Israel's main goal is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statements of the need to control the Philadelphia axis (Salah al-Din axis), which in practice means cutting off communication between the Gaza Strip and the outside world.

The Wall Street Journal quoted senior Egyptian officials as saying that Tel Aviv had asked Cairo to install sensors along the Philadelphia axis to alert Israel if Hamas tried to rebuild the tunnels.

Israel also wants to be allowed to send reconnaissance drones to the region to deal with the matter, the newspaper adds, revealing Egypt's response that it will look into the matter, but approving the drones would be a violation of Egyptian sovereignty.

Late last year, Netanyahu said at a news conference that "the Philadelphia axis must be under our control, it must be closed, and it is clear that no other arrangement will guarantee the disarmament we seek."

Netanyahu's remarks came to confirm reports in the Israeli media over the past weeks about the Israeli government's intention to reoccupy the border strip between Gaza and Egypt and establish a buffer zone.

Source : Al Jazeera