The Egyptian military and its government are starting to realize the risks in Sinai that could lead to an escalation with Israel if more attacks are launched from the Peninsula on Israel. So far, no real actions have been taken although a number of plans have been discussed, funds promised and meetings held but nothing approved or on track to be cleared by the Egyptian government or the parliament. To make a living, the Bedouins continue aiding terrorists based in Sinai and smugglers in Gaza, which leads to confrontations with the Egyptian security forces and casualties on both sides thus feeding the animosity between the two sides. As the Egyptian military and government go through their phase of promises paralysis other factions, such as Islamic radicals, are filling the vacuum.
Some of the Bedouins demands are reasonable and should be immediately implemented by the Egyptian military and government such as (a) deployment of helicopters and security forces to Sinai to monitor and engage with smugglers and Islamic terrorists, (b) upgrade of the mobile phone networks rather than reliance on networks in Gaza and Israel and (c) approve the government plan to hire Bedouins to work with local officials in gathering intelligence on the smugglers and terrorists. All of these demands need to be complemented by new technology to secure the borders such as satellite imagery and coordination with the Israelis as their "fence" is completed between Egypt and Israel.
Other demands need to be discussed to ensure their viability and relevance such as the opening of a free trade zone in Sinai or the establishment of an official terminal, instead of the illegal tunnels, between Sinai and Gaza to promote trade and generate employment to the local Bedouins. Unemployment is a serious problem in the Bedouin community and as the security situation in Sinai deteriorates, tourists will not visit and more Bedouins will be find work aiding smugglers and terrorists.
Then there are other demands that the Egyptian military and government should flat out reject as they affect Egypt in general and its relationship with its neighbors. These include the Bedouin demands for Egypt to amend the Camp David Accords with Israel to provide for the Bedouin population a role in Sinai's security plans.
As I started this post, Egyptians are starting to realize the risks in Sinai however, with all that is happening in Egypt, politically, socially and economically, it is hard to imagine anyone ranking the Bedouin's problem as a priority. This is a strategic mistake that will affect Egypt for years to come.