Tahrir is packed (R) 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Yahya el-Gamal accused Israel Monday of
inciting sectarian strife in Egypt, saying that American and Israeli
intelligence agencies do "not want to leave Egypt on its own."
Speaking to Lebanese newspaper Champress, the Egyptian deputy prime minister also said that the US is beginning to feel that Israel has become a
burden preventing the US from normalizing relations in "a very
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Gamal said that the Egyptian people are not inclined to extremism, and
that the average Egyptian today has negative attitudes towards fanaticism.
The Egyptian deputy prime minister's comments come a day after the arrest of an alleged Mossad agent in Cairo. Dual US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel is being held under suspicions that he was an Israeli spy seeking to disrupt the
sensitive Egyptian economic and political fabric.
One judiciary source said that Grapel, a US citizen, former IDF soldier, and one-time Israeli Supreme Court intern, "was [in Cairo's Tahrir Square] on a daily basis inciting youths towards sectarian strife.
He was distributing money to some of them
defense minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) criticized the Egyptian
security forces over the operation, calling them inexperienced in their
arrest of Grapel.
Speaking to Israel Radio, Ben-Eliezer said that the ordeal was the
government's attempt to show the Egyptian people their insistence on
The former defense minister said he hoped that
the arrest did not signal a new trend in Israel-Egypt relations as the
government there attempts to garner support from different elements in their country.
Moves such as facilitating the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal and
opening the Rafah border were seen by Israel as the Egyptian
government's attempt to appeal to widespread Egyptian sympathy on the