During an hour of questions in the Israeli Knesset, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said “Egypt is the most important and serious ally we have in the Middle East and among Arab states.”
When Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) asked Lieberman about the government’s recent agreement with Turkey, and the defense minister responded saying that the most important issue is how it impacts on bilateral ties with Egypt.
Lieberman added, “I personally invested a lot of effort in building relations built on trust and cooperation.”
He also said,” The starting point of our agreement with Turkey has to be Egypt.”
In fact, the relations between Egypt and Israel have witnessed unprecedented cooperation on the security and intelligence level in Sinai Peninsula after al-Sisi military coup in 2013. Moreover, the diplomatic relations between both countries have flourished as Egypt’s FM Sameh Shoukry has visited Israel this month which was the first visit for an Egyptian foreign minister in nine years.
In this context, Lieberman latest statement in the Knesset carries a direct message to Egypt not to worry about the normalization treaty with Ankara as Egypt is strategic ally and partner to Israel.
A normalization treaty was signed between Ankara and Tel Aviv after 6 years of deterioration in their bilateral relations. In this context, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated that the meeting will contribute to a great extent to lifting the siege imposed on the Palestinian people in general and Gaza Strip in particular.
At an early time, this month, Alkhaleejonline reported that a secret meeting was held between Egypt’s FM Sameh Shoukry and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas which lasted for more four hours, the Egyptian official didn’t hide his fear from the increasing Turkish influence in the Gaza Strip through passing aids estimated at 11 thousand tons which would be a start for lifting the blockade gradually on Gaza, which make Gaza less dependent on its neighbors.
A prominent leader in Fatah movement-who asked to remain anonymous for his sensitive position-said that the Palestinian Authority and Egypt believe that the Turkish-Israeli agreement on Gaza strip is “dangerous” and has negative repercussions (for them).
It was reported that “Shoukry told Abbas in a verbal message from Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that the latter perceives that the Turkish influence is expanding in Gaza, and that easing the blockade on the Gaza Strip would harm the Egyptian national security and must come to an end.”