Ayalon: Peace with Egypt not in danger

Hamas’s Haniyeh says Cairo won’t close border to Gaza, support future IDF operations there.

January 8, 2012 03:21
1 minute read.
Danny Ayalon

Danny Ayalon 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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While Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said in an interview published on Saturday that the success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt puts Israel’s security in peril, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said all the leading forces in Egypt realize peace with Israel is a “strategic asset.”

“The peace agreement with Egypt is not in danger,” Ayalon said during a speech Saturday in Beersheba. He said all the main players in Egypt understand the benefits of the peace agreement with Israel.

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Ayalon’s comment echoed US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland’s remark Thursday that the Muslim Brotherhood had given Washington assurances it would honor Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

Haniyeh, however, had a somewhat different reading of the situation, saying in an interview published Saturday in Britain’s Independent that Israel’s strategic situation has suffered as a result of the “Arab Spring.”

Israel knows the strategic environment is changing, he said. “Iran is an enemy. Relations are deteriorating with Turkey. With Egypt, they are really cold. Israel is in a security situation they have never been in before. The Palestinians are winning more than anybody else due to what’s happening in the Arab countries. That will come out clearly in the future.”

Haniyeh said Cairo would no longer close its border with Gaza, nor would it support any Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip.

“The Palestinian cause is winning. With the Muslim Brotherhood part of the government, [the Egyptians] will not besiege Gaza. They will not arrest Palestinians. They will not give cover to Israel to launch a war.”

According to Haniyeh, Gaza was a main reason for the revolutions in the Arab world.

“It was people’s anger at the regimes that cooperated with Israel and did not recognize the government here,” he said.

Ayalon, meanwhile, reiterated in his remarks that any reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas that would allow Hamas to enter the PA government would require Hamas’s forswearing of terrorism, recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous Israeli- Palestinian agreements before Jerusalem would deal with it.

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