Sunday, August 18, 2013

Netanyahu convenes security cabinet for special meeting on Egypt

Netanyahu convenes security cabinet for special meeting on Egypt

Israeli policy on turmoil in Egypt discussed at two-hour Friday meet; NYT reports that Israel has been in 'heavy communication' with Egypt's el-Sissi, making reassurances that U.S. wouldn't cut off military aid.

By | Aug. 17, 2013

With hundreds dead in days in Egypt, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a special meeting of his security cabinet on Friday afternoon.

In the meeting, which lasted around two hours, senior defense establishment and Foreign Ministry officials updated ministers on developments in Egypt, and discussed Israeli policy on the crisis.

A senior Israeli official said that Israel's policy is to keep as low a media profile as possible regarding Egypt. Netanyahu reiterated that ministers and governments spokesmen should not discuss events in Egypt with the media.

Nearly 800 people have died in four days of violence, 173 just on Friday, with over 1,200 injured across the country.

Citing western diplomats, the New York Times reported Saturday that Israel supported the Egyptian army's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi on July 3, and that Israel was in "heavy communication" with General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and those close to him.

The diplomats also said Israel was "undercutting" messages from the West, by telling Egyptians that there was no need to worry about U.S. threats to cut off aid to Egypt.

The Times also reported that when U.S. Senator Rand Paul proposed stopping military aid to Egypt, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) told senators in a July 31 letter that cutting aid “could increase instability in Egypt and undermine important U.S. interests and negatively impact our Israeli ally."

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