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Egypt rejects Israeli offer to supervise the Gaza Strip after next military operation to topple Hamas

Egyptian sources have revealed that Egypt has rejected an Israeli proposal for Cairo to supervise following the next military operation planned to topple the Hamas government. The government of Benjamin Netanyahu has, it is claimed, already decided to launch another attack at an unspecified time; Israel is waiting to see if Hamas rule will end in any case. The Islamic Resistance Movement won the election in 2006 and pre-empted a coup engineered by Israel and the US with a faction in Fatah led by Mohammed Dahlan in June 2007.

Egypt governed the Gaza Strip from 1948 until June 1967 but the reports say that the government in Cairo is opposed to any future role in the territory and military operations by Israel. The sources added that Israel's refusal to hand the territory to the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas is one of the reasons why the new assault is being held back; Netanyahu doesn't want to hand Gaza over to a weak authority in Ramallah as that might allow Hamas to return to power, nullifying the expected results of a military operation.

The current military manoeuvres by Israel on the Gaza border are, it is claimed, a rehearsal for the upcoming operation against the Gaza Strip. This has pushed the Egyptian authorities to examine ways of securing the common border with the Gaza Strip in order to avoid being dragged into the conflict.

Instructions have been given within Egypt to make sure that no senior Israeli officials are hosted by Cairo in the near future. This is to avoid a repeat of President Hosni Mubarak hosting the then Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni just a few days before Israel's war on the Gaza Strip at the end of 2008.

Dr Tarek Fahmy, an expert at the National Centre for the Study of the Middle East, told Almasryon newspaper that it is just a matter of time before another Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip; not if, but when.

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