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Report: Israel should back Egypt's Sisi in face of protests

Egyptian President Abdel fattah al-Sisi chairs the closing session of the first joint European Union and Arab League summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, on 25 February, 2019 [MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images]
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 25 February, 2019 [MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images]

The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv University yesterday called on the Israeli government to back Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi who is facing calls to resign, Arab48 reported.

In a report, the INSS stated that Israel should stop taking strict measures against the Palestinians in order not to inspire Egyptian youths to protest against Al-Sisi "who has been facing the most dangerous crisis since he became president."

However, the report said, only a few thousand had protested against Al-Sisi after the videos posted on the internet by the contractor Mohamed Ali about corruption in political and military institutions.

Al-Sisi's supporters believe that there could be "deliberate" reforms, hoping that this would stop future protests, the INSS added.

"Stopping protests by a wide-scale detention campaign did not give Al-Sisi a decisive victory," the report said, recognising that the Ali's videos shed light on the "deep-rooted political, economic, social and freedom crises."

READ: Shaking the Egyptian mindset 

Meanwhile, the report said that there are other threats represented by officials from the economic and military sectors. These officials could turn against Al-Sisi if his status as a strongman is shaken.

The report noted that Israel was not mentioned in Mohamed Ali's videos, but many opposition leaders linked Al-Sisi and Israel, calling him a "Zionist collaborator" who serves Israel and the US.

The report stressed that "Egypt's stability is important for Israel for several reasons," which include: maintaining the peace deal, retention of mutual cooperation against security and political challenges, fear of chaos that would destabilise Sinai and turn it into a base for launching attacks on Israel and maintaining the gas deal.

Israel's ability to contribute to Egypt's stability is limited, though it is able to mobilise international diplomatic support, contributing to security and economic stability and encouraging necessary reforms.

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