Senior Israeli analyst, Ravin Berko, has suggested that Egypt’s Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s repeated threats against Hamas in the Gaza Strip are intended to attract US attention. Berko, who served in Israel’s military intelligence, said that General Al-Sisi is trying to attract the US attention through these threats and their support for his rule as an active element in fighting “terrorist” organisations.
Israel’s Today news reported, in its Hebrew edition on Wednesday, that Berko had pointed out that there are elements within Egypt’s military backed government who believe that without clamping down on Hamas in Gaza Strip the Muslim Brotherhood will not be eliminated. Berko suggested that Egypt could attack the Gaza Strip while the Egyptian intelligence could strengthen the ongoing blockade on Gaza and encourage mass protests against Hamas. He added “It is difficult to imagine the Egyptian army entering the Gaza Strip without coordinating with Israel to ensure the Palestinian Authority’s return. If the Palestinian Authority returned to the Gaza Strip it could improve its legal position by uniting the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Berko further noted that “if such a scheme succeeded, it would not necessarily lead to improving Israel’s security situation since Hamas will continue to retain its full strength, which means its ability to continue carrying out operations against Israel.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s State Radio reported on Thursday that one of the main reasons prompting the US Senate’s agreement to provide $ 1.5 billion in aid to Egypt is their concern over the Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt. According to the radio “both the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Demer and head of Israel’s National Security Council Yossi Cohen have played a central role in persuading US Congress leaders to resume US support for Egypt.” The radio said that both Demer and Cohen have frequently met with members of the Senate who were initially reluctant to resume the aid which breaches American law that prohibits aid to an authority that has ousted a democratically elected government.
According to the radio if it was not for the massive pressure from the pro- Israel lobby Israel would not have been able to convince Congress leaders to resume its aid to Egypt. They went on to say that Israel had used a study by the Directorate of the Military Intelligence (Aman) which reveals the grave risks resulting from the Muslim Brotherhood return to rule to convince its ally, the US, to resume aid.
The radio reported that all Israeli officials who spoke in front of Congress have asserted that the future of the Camp David agreement would be in grave danger if the US does not support the military rule.
Israel’s Maariv newspaper revealed in July 2013 that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked the Israeli ambassadors around the world to explain that Israel was demanding support for Egypt’s military backed government.