Israel places resources at newly appointed Egyptian Vice-President Suleiman's disposal "to protect the Egyptian regime"

Middle East Monitor
Tuesday, 01 February 2011

 

Well-placed Israeli sources have disclosed that the Zionist state has offered to place “all its capabilities” at the disposal of General Omar Suleiman, the recently appointed Vice President of Egypt, for the “protection of the regime in Egypt”. This offer includes the implementation of “various operations to end the popular revolution”. Israel has also asked Suleiman to work on preventing arms being smuggled into the Gaza Strip.

An official in Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called Suleiman, who is also the director of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service, and expressed his concern about the situation in Egypt. Netanyahu apparently suggested the possibility of Israeli intelligence personnel undertaking various specialist operations to bring an end to the demonstrations. The source added that Netanyahu and Suleiman also discussed ways of securing the border between Israel and Egypt.

The Hebrew newspaper Ma’ariv revealed that in recent days highly placed individuals in Netanyahu’s office have conducted a series of telephone conversations with Suleiman to impress on the Vice President the necessity of coordinating on security with Israel. The telephone conversations were described as “urgent” and were designed to alert the Egyptians about the consequences of losing control of the tunnels described by many as Gaza’s “lifeline” during the Israeli blockade. Israel is, claims Ma’ariv, concerned about increased activity in the tunnels “given the developments in progress inside Egypt” which have seen the Egyptian army “softening its anti-smuggling activities”. In addition, it is claimed that there has been an increase in the number of illegal immigrants entering Israel from Egyptian territory.

Sources inside the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that Israel does not rule out General Suleiman “sacrificing his ties to Israel in order to satisfy the Egyptian street and bestow a measure of legitimacy on his appointment in the general opinion of the public”. Suleiman maintains strong ties with Israeli officials and was responsible for several files linked to the Zionist state, including those relating to the ceasefire and a possible prisoner exchange deal with Hamas.

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