A Hebrew-language newspaper has revealed that Egypt has threatened to recall its ambassador in Tel Aviv if Israel embarks on a massive military operation in the Gaza Strip. A report in Maariv on Tuesday said that even though the plans for the Israel Defence Forces to attack Gaza have been presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there is a fear that the move will prompt the deterioration of relations between Israel and Egypt.
The newspaper claimed that during talks held between the two sides over the past few days, Israel informed Egypt that if the firing of missiles from Gaza does not stop, Israel will be forced to react severely with a widespread military operation in the territory. According to Maariv, the Egyptians told Israel that they will oppose any such military response and will recall their ambassador if it goes ahead. The Egyptians explained that Israel should restrain itself until the government in Cairo succeeds in its efforts to mediate on a ceasefire agreement, which will take time.
Egypt is aware that Netanyahu cannot get embroiled in such an operation because of the Israeli general election in January. He fears that the continued escalation could lead to his political position being weakened.