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Knesset Foreign Affairs Chairman says IDF must prepare for peace treaty collapse

February 17, 2014 at 11:14 pm

The Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee has said that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) must prepare for the scenario of a collapsed Egypt-Israel peace treaty. Shaul Mofaz noted, however, that Israel’s goal must be to preserve the peace treaty with Egypt.

Speaking to Israel’s Army Radio, Mofaz said, “The IDF needs to be prepared for any changes in the situation and be prepared for the day after elections in Egypt. Today the street is setting the agenda and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in Cairo is having trouble maintaining control.”

Mofaz added that while radicals in Egypt seem to be getting stronger, Israel must exert all possible efforts to preserve the peace treaty. He made his statements during a tour by the Committee at an IDF induction base near Tel Aviv.

Army Radio also revealed that the interim military rulers in Cairo sent a message to Tel Aviv last week reassuring Israel about Egypt’s commitment to the peace treaty. The message delivered by top-ranking Egyptian officials was that “peace with Israel is of strategic importance to Egypt”.

The statements by Mofaz come after MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a close friend of Egypt’s toppled president Hosni Mubarak, had expressed his doubts about the durability of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, predicting a confrontation in the near future. Ben-Eliezer believes that Israel’s relations with Egypt cannot be improved through direct talks; the only way for Israel to improve its standing with Egyptians, he said, is through renewing peace talks with the Palestinians. He predicted that Islamists will achieve victory in Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections.