Israel tells the US: Stopping aid to Egyptian army could end peace talks


Israeli Official: Egyptian support of great importance in keeping Palestinians at peace talks and influencing Hamas in Gaza.



Israel has urged the US to back the Egyptian military, saying losing Egypt to Islamists could pose a risk the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Egyptian troops en route to Sinai

Egyptian troops en route to Sinai – Photo: REUTERS

According to an Israeli official quoted by the paper, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have traditionally played an important role in providing the Palestinians the support to stay in the negotiations and to make concessions, and without them there is a chance the talks will fail.

The paper also reported on a parallel effort by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to influence the US into backing the Egyptian military.

According to the report, Israel and the US’s Gulf allies are urging the Obama administration to encourage the Egyptian military to confront rather than reconcile with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Israel is interested in an Egyptian government that will aggressively fight the Islamists in the Sinai Peninsula and protect the border, the report said.

The paper quotes an Israeli official as calling anti-Muslim Brotherhood nations “the axis of reason.”

The head of the Israeli-Palestinian Center for Research and Information, Gershon Baskin, is quoted by the paper as saying Israel’s leaders view Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow as “an opportune time to give a real blow to political Islam throughout the region and get the more sensible people back in power.”

Despite that, Israel remains wary of the Egyptian military, fearing the army’s crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters could spark an Islamist insurgency that could erode Israeli security, the Journal reported.

As a result, Israel has been pushing the US not to cut its military aid to Egypt, the Journal reported, arguing that would jeopardize counterterrorism cooperation in Sinai and the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian Camp David peace accord.