Egypt does not object to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, leaked tapes have revealed.
An Egyptian intelligence officer has instructed several Egyptian TV talk show hosts to downplay Trump’s Jerusalem decision. In leaked phone calls, Captain Ashfar El Kholi can be heard urging three media professionals to persuade their viewers to accept the reality established by the Trump’s announcement.
One of the phone calls was also to well-known Egyptian actor and singer, Yousra, who heeded his advice.
Kholi alluded to Egypt’s acceptance of Ramallah as a Palestinian capital, in fear of another intifada.
“I was just calling to tell you what our public stance is, so if you go on TV or speak in an interview, I am telling you what is the stance of Egypt’s national security apparatus and what it stands to benefit from in this matter of announcing Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, okay?” Kholi said in a conversation with Saeed Hassaseen, a TV talk show host and a member of the Egyptian Parliament. “I am at your command,” Mr. Hassaseen replied.
“We, like all our Arab brothers, are denouncing this matter,” Kholi continued. But, he added, “After that, this thing will become a reality. Palestinians can’t resist and we don’t want to go to war. We have enough on our plate as you know.”
“The point that is dangerous for us is the intifada issue,” Kholi added. “An intifada would not serve Egypt’s national security interests because an intifada would revive the Islamists and Hamas. Hamas would be reborn once more.”
“At the end of the day, later on, Jerusalem won’t be so much different from Ramallah. What matters is ending the suffering of the Palestinian people,” Kholi concluded. “Concessions are a must and if we reach a concession whereby Jerusalem will be — Ramallah will be the capital of Palestine, to end the war and so no one else dies, then we would go for it.”