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Israel says it's not afraid of latest Qatari-Egyptian rapprochement

Israeli strategists have been studying the expected repercussions of the latest Qatari-Egyptian rapprochement and its effects on Palestinian factions, mainly Hamas, Israeli Hebrew website Wallah reported on Sunday.

The website reported Israeli security officials as saying that this rapprochement might lead to improved chances of Gaza reconstruction projects and this would lead to more calm on the southern border with Israel.

However, the same officials candidly expressed fears that this rapprochement might lead to close cooperation between Hamas's military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, and Iran. They said such an alliance would prove explosive for the situation in the region.

A senior military official said that this "strategic change" would lead to change of regional environment around Israel and it will take some time to understand the possible repercussions. He stressed that the most important thing in this issue is the effect on Hamas.

The Israeli strategists ruled out the possibility that Qatar might take measures against Hamas, noting that it was Egyptian military leader General Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi who initiated the reconciliation by firing the anti-Hamas Egyptian intelligence chief Mohammed al-Tihami.

In addition, the strategists said that there is no evidence that the retention of Qatari relations with Hamas would annoy the Egyptians, who are only concerned with getting rid of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, Israel's Makor Rishon newspaper reported on Sunday that the rapprochement between Qatar and Egypt would not lead to a lower level of strategic cooperation between Egypt and Israel, which Al-Sisi insists to maintain.

The newspaper noted that Egyptian-Israeli cooperation on security issues has developed to an "unprecedented" level during Al-Sisi's control over Egypt. In addition, the newspaper said that current Egyptian policy in Sinai is in keeping with Israeli strategic interests.

It also noted that the biggest achievement for Al-Sisi has been the closure of the tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip. "Israeli recognition of the deep hatred of Al-Sisi towards Hamas pushed Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to let him define the conditions which ended the latest Israeli war on Gaza."

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