In an interview with Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr, Egypt’s strategic military expert General Safwat Al-Zayat remarked that, “President Mohammed Morsi dealt wisely with the people of Sinai; therefore, he is very popular among them. Morsi had taken into account the tribal and special nature of that region and did not deal violently with them, because violence has negative repercussions on Egypt as a whole. Even if there are some outlaws there, we should not collectively punish everyone like the army is doing now.”
Al-Zayat continued: “Following the revolution, we as military experts warned of three things. First, to avoid harming civil society in the Sinai because it is geographically close to terrorist elements and can provide us with information about them. We also warned of the consequences of relying on intelligence from Israel; and we warned of being more cautious with US intelligence, particularly about the Sinai. All of this is what Morsi had done.”
He added that, “Morsi’s approach to solve the abducted soldiers’ crisis is an example. Any elected president knows very well that he will be held accountable through the ballot boxes; therefore, he considers resorting to violence carefully. Morsi’s instructions to release the soldiers without a drop of blood do not reflect complicity as promoted by the media; rather they reflect his sense of responsibility and his desire to uphold the rule of law, especially considering that if the extremist elements were arrested then they would provide very good information”.