Egypt’s foreign minister in the coup-led “interim” government has threatened the people of Gaza with “military options” if it is felt that Hamas or other parties are endangering national security. “Egypt’s response will be harsh,” Nabil Fahmy told London’s Al-Hayat newspaper. “There are many negative signs about this.” He claimed that such a military response “would not lead to the suffering of the Palestinian people.”
In response, the media adviser to the prime minister in Gaza said that he was “surprised” by Fahmy’s statement. “The minister’s threat contradicts Egyptian history and its role in protecting the Palestinian people, because Palestine is of great value to Egypt,” said Taher Al-Nunu. He called upon all “wise men” in Egypt to bear their national responsibility towards the Palestinian people.
When asked about Egypt’s relations with Turkey, Nabil Fahmy said that the Egyptian ambassador has been withdrawn from Ankara and all maritime cooperation with Turkey has been suspended. Due to what he insisted are “Turkish policies affecting Egyptian sovereignty”, the foreign minister has refused to allow Turkey to increase the size of its embassy staff in Cairo.
It would be recalled that on 31 August the controversial Egyptian media personality, Tawfiq Okasha, surprised his viewers with an unprecedented incitement against the Palestinians in Gaza. Okasha said the Palestinians must rise up against Hamas and that the Egyptian army would support them militarily to eliminate the movement.
That call was recently followed by remarks last weekend from a prominent Israeli intelligence commentator Yossi Melman, predicting that the Egyptian army will work in coordination with the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority to topple the rule of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip.
When taken all together, it now appears that it is only a matter of time before the Gaza Strip is subjected to another round of external aggression. And, as it had done in the past, it may well surprise many.