Egypt has sent a large convoy of military forces along with large cranes, bulldozers and other construction and engineering equipment into the Sinai Peninsula in an attempt to restore order there after the region saw attacks on police stations and Islamic militants launch rockets into Israel.
The developments come days after 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded when assailants with semiautomatic weapons and hand grenades stole two armored vehicles from Egyptian forces and tried to enter Israel.
That attack has forced Egypt to close the Rafah border crossing indefinitely while army troops are filling in tunnels that militants had dug to smuggle in weapons to Gaza.
"There is a high probability that those who committed the Sunday massacre of the 16 soldiers are members of Palestinian Islamic Jaljala Army, which is a group considered an offshoot of Hamas but with more radical beliefs. They are a force in the hundreds after their leader Abdel Latif Moussa was killed in 2009 for announcing a Palestinian in Emirate in Gaza challenging Hamas' authority," said an Egyptian General to CNN who asked not to be named.
He added that Israel provided a list of militants believed to be involved in the recent attack who are all part of a group called Al Tawhid Wal Jihad, based in Gaza and Sinai