World Bulletin/News Desk
Israel has looked on at upheaval in Egypt primarily in silence, avoiding disrupting strategic security cooperation with Egypt’s military, officials and analysts said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had aides instruct cabinet ministers to avoid public comment about Egypt, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"Israel and the United States see the situation in Egypt very, very differently and justifiably the prime minister wouldn't want Israeli cabinet ministers to publicly criticise American policy," Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser, said on Channel 2 television.
In private, one senior Israeli official expressed alarm at U.S. President Barack Obama's condemnation of the bloodshed in Egypt and cancellation of a joint military exercise with Cairo.
"Eyebrows have been raised," the official said.
Israel worries that any sign of wavering U.S. support for Egypt's military may embolden those sympathetic with the Muslim Brotherhood, ousted by the Egyptian army after a year in power.
Eiland backed the crackdown by Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the Brotherhood this week.
"Sisi in the situation he faced, had no choice but to do what he did," said Eiland, adding he thought Western outrage at the scale of the bloodshed was understandable. Almost 800 people have been killed so far.
Israel wants to avoid any disruption of its security cooperation with Egypt, which stems from a 1979 peace treaty - the first of only two such accords between Israel and Arab countries.
Military ties with Egypt have helped Israel strategically, as well as rein in supply deliveries to Palestinians in Gaza, ruled by Islamist group Hamas.
That cooperation has remained intact despite turmoil since Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011. Eiland said intelligence officials from both sides continued to work together to curb attacks from Sinai.
Eiland did not rule out "a one-off Israeli action" to take out a rocket launcher if Egypt were unable to prevent an attack in time, but thought Israel could rely on Egypt's military.Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ağustos 2013, 17:59