The Israeli Directorate of Military Intelligence (Aman) has predicted that the year 2015 will be a decisive one for the fate of the Egyptian regime and the coup that was led by outgoing Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, according to Palestine 48 news site.
In a rare interview conducted by Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper and published on Monday, Colonel Roital, who heads the Egypt and Jordan Front at Aman’s Research Department, reportedly said that unless huge financial support is provided to Al-Sisi’s regime after he assumes power as president, the regime will likely collapse.
Aman’s Research Department is responsible for making strategic assessments and presenting them to Israel’s decision makers. The heads of the different sections within Aman are in direct contact with the leaders of the executive body, including the prime minister, the defence minister, the chief of staff and commanders of secret combat units.
The colonel noted that Egypt has an 87 million-strong population, with a baby born every 16 seconds, and given that the 25 January Revolution erupted for economic and social reasons, not for ideological or religious reasons, the people will want to see results.
Indeed, Roital believes that Egyptians will give Al-Sisi a very short period of time to create a transformation in their standard of living; otherwise, they will not let him stay in power.
The colonel pointed out that Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states present the only possible hope for Al-Sisi’s regime to survive, but refused to confirm whether these regimes are willing to agree to cover the entirety of Egypt’s financial deficit.
Roital said that preserving the military rule in Egypt under Al-Sisi’s leadership is in Israel’s interest because this will guarantee that Egypt continues to respect the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, which constitutes a key pillar of Israel’s national security.
The intelligence analyst noted that ending former President Mohamed Morsi’s rule in 2013 constituted a “positive” development and a ray of hope amid the turbulence caused by the Arab uprisings. Roital attributed Morsi’s ouster to the power of the Egyptian bureaucracy, saying that the state’s institutions preserve their deeply rooted system, which explains the ability of Mubarak’s regime to persevere.
The colonel said that it is important to continue monitoring the developments that take place in Egypt – including the security situation and the economic changes – because they have implications for Israel one way or another.
However, Roital predicted that those betting on Al-Sisi to transform the country are likely to despair and that opposition to the presidential hopeful is already on the rise.
The world is also eyeing the Muslim Brotherhood, because their behaviour and organisational capabilities will play a decisive role in this regard.
The intelligence analyst also said that jihadist groups seem to be moving towards uniting under a larger umbrella – Al-Qaeda in the southern region – that will include Gaza’s branch of Al-Qaeda.