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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/5/19

Israel was behind President Morsi's overthrow says Israeli General

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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Israel was behind the 2013 coup in Egypt that toppled Mohammad Morsi, Egypt's first ever democratically-elected president, an Israeli general has revealed.

In June 2012, Mohammad Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood party, become Egypt's first freely elected president.

Israeli Brigadier General Aryeh Eldad wrote in an article in Maariv newspaper that Israeli intelligence officials had reason to believe that Morsi "intended to cancel the peace agreement with Israel and send more Egyptian military forces to the Sinai Peninsula."

In 1978, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Camp David peace agreement that, among other things, required Israel to withdraw all forces from the Sinai Peninsula while limiting the number of forces Cairo could deploy to the region. The peace agreement also called for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In October 1981, President Anwar Sadat was assassinated during the annual victory parade held in Cairo to celebrate Operation Badr (1973), during which the Egyptian Army had crossed the Suez Canal and taken back Sinai Peninsula from Israel.

According to Eldad, when Israeli officials found out about Morsi's alleged plans, they made it a priority to overthrow the Egyptian president and replace him with the current president, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who served as Morsi's defense minister before the coup.

"At that stage, Israel was quick and willing to activate its diplomatic tools, and perhaps even greater means, to bring Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to power in Egypt, and convince the then US administration under President Barack Obama not to oppose this move," wrote the Israeli general.

General el-Sisi, who later assumed the title of Field Marshal, came to power in 2013, after leading the successful military coup against President Morsi.

Egyptian parliament is now considering constitutional changes to extend his presidency until 2034.

Forty years after the Camp David peace treaty, Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab states to have full diplomatic ties with Israel, but the relations remain limited and taboo among the general populations.

Eldad pointed out that "it is too early to talk about the usefulness of the peace agreement with Egypt, 40 years after the signing of the Camp David agreement in 1979, and contrary to the expectations that were issued when it was made, the agreement was able to withstand and continue, but opponents of the withdrawal from Sinai were not wrong then, because we did not have a real peace with Egypt."

He added that "the Camp David agreement is the first of its kind between Israel and a hostile Arab state, which was then the largest and most dangerous Arab country. It resulted in the withdrawal until the last millimetre according to the international border between Egypt and Israel, knowing that I did not expect that Sadat would fulfil his commitment to the peace agreement with Israel, but I was wrong, too."

After the military coup in 2013, newly instated President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi pledged to maintain peace with Israel. Cooperation between Tel Aviv and Cairo has since strengthened, with the two countries coordinating efforts against an alleged insurgency in the Sinai.

In 2015, Egypt voted for Israel to join the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. This was the first time that Egypt had ever voted in Israel's favor at the United Nations.

Egyptian security officials regularly close the Rafah border crossing into Gaza and destroy tunnels used by smugglers to transfer basic food and medication to the besieged enclave, home to some two million Palestinians.

The deposed president Morsi, 68, has been serving a 20-year prison term on charges of ordering the arrest and torture of protesters, a 25-year jail term on charges of passing intelligence to Qatar and a three-year term for insulting the judiciary.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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