The Edge of Terror
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|Saul Roth||June 22nd 2012|
World Jewish Daily
In the wake of the Muslim Brotherhood's victory in the presidential elections, Egypt has put its diplomatic support squarely behind the Palestinians.
On Wednesday, the Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority made the first public statement about the recent outbreak of violence in Israel's south. Following a series of terrorist attacks and missile strikes, the Israeli Air Force has been hitting back, destroying missile launching strikes and killing terrorist operatives in the Gaza Strip.
In response, Ambassador Yasser Othman chose to condemn Israel, leaving the Palestinians entirely unscathed.
According to the Times of Israel, the ambassador told a pro-Hamas website “The Israeli military escalation in the Gaza Strip is unjustified and completely unacceptable.”
In another interview, with Bethlehem-based news agency Maan, Othman said Israel must stop its strikes in Gaza first in order for the factions in Gaza to cease responding in kind.
It is unlikely that these statements are a coincidence. In the past, Egypt has condemned Israeli military against terrorism, but also issued calls for both sides to cease fighting and return to negotiations.
This time, there is no caveat added to the Egyptian condemnation. Egypt's senior diplomat to the Palestinians criticized Israel and Israel alone, and placed responsibility for the recent violence solely upon the Jewish state. He did so despite the fact that the violence began as the result of a terror attack in the Sinai in which one Israeli was killed. All the subsequent Israeli retaliations have also been undertaken in retaliation to specific terrorist actions.
It is likely, then, that the Egyptian diplomatic establishment, aware of the military government's intention to hand at least some power over to the elected president from the Muslim Brotherhood, is laying the groundwork for a shift in Egyptian policy to an explicitly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel position.
This article is adapted from World Jewish Daily.