Report: Minister's comments lead to Egypt canceling Netanyahu meeting

The announcement comes on the heels of comments made by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz concerning the confidential security cooperation between Egypt and Israel.

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
February 14, 2016 10:12
1 minute read.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Egypt has canceled a scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Cairo, Arab media reported Sunday.

The announcement comes after Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said earlier this month that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the flooding of several Hamas tunnels linking Egypt to the Gaza Strip, to a certain extent, "due to Israel's request."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The minister affirmed that security cooperation between Israel and Egypt is "better than ever," and asserted that "flooding is a good solution" for the challenge of tackling Hamas' intricate tunnel system used for smuggling purposes.

The security establishment was furious with the Energy Minister at the time when he made the comments, concerned with Egypt's reaction to the public revelations. Their fears were confirmed after Egyptian media reported that the Sisi government took exception to the statements.

Defense and security cooperation is one of the most sensitive issues concerning both countries, and Egypt is extremely reluctant to disclose publicly their relationship with Israel out of concern that opposition forces will stoke populist anger by painting Sisi as a “collaborator” with Israel.

Security cooperation with Israel is highly unpopular among the Egyptian public.

Sisi, however, needs little prodding from Israel to destroy the Hamas tunnels linking Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula, viewing the Gaza-based terrorist organization as a dangerous security threat.

In the eyes of the Egyptian government, Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, poses a threat to national security in much the same manner as the latter.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed and its leadership thrown in prison since Sisi came into power in 2014.

Furthermore, the Egyptian government routinely accuses Hamas of being in communication with terrorist elements in the Sinai, including Islamic State’s affiliate in the peninsula.

Yossi Melman contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A theater stage
November 14, 2018
Concert Review: The Israeli Opera

By URY EPPSTEIN