Israel dismisses report of helping Mubarak`s tottering regime
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 00:33
Jerusalem: Israel on Monday dismissed a report that it has sent two planes with riot-dispersal means to help embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak deal with the massive uprising against his 30-year rule.

An Egyptian journalist working for Qatari news agency al Jazeera reported that two Israeli planes had landed in Cairo with the requested armament on board.

In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected the claim, saying, "the report is totally false".

Sources at the ministry told Ynetnews that al-Jazeera and other networks intent on hurting the Egyptian government are fabricating reports that Israel is helping to quash the uprising.

Israel's Nobel laureate President, Shimon Peres, in his remarks on the uprising in Egypt said that "no matter what they say, we owe Mubarak true thanks for always being a rock and working for peace and stability in the Middle East", the news portal reported.

Six foreign journalists of al-Jazeera channel were today arrested in Egypt after authorities shutdown the network that has provided round-the-clock coverage to the uprising against the 30-year authoritarian rule of Mubarak.

The pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera said that six of its journalists have been detained from a hotel in Cairo after authorities ordered the closure of the network's local office yesterday.

In Egypt, protesters gave a call for a million people to pour onto the streets of Cairo tomorrow to put up a massive show of strength to force the beleaguered President to leave the country by Friday.

Upping the ante to topple Mubarak, a coalition of opposition parties, including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood also served an ultimatum telling the powerful army to choose between "Egypt or Mubarak", indicating that a decisive stage may be near as the death toll in the last six days of violence crossed 150.

Anti- Mubarak sentiments reached a feverish pitch, as thousands of protesters converged on Tahrir or Liberation Square -- the hub of the protests in the heart of Cairo to make the call for a "million man march" tomorrow.


Many analysts in Israel have described three decades old peace with Egypt as "cold peace" given the overwhelming dislike among Egyptians for Israel but cooperation from the regime, but in the long run, if a radical government achieves power in Cairo, rather than a variation of the current one, there is likely to be a real freeze in ties.

The Israeli army will also have to be reorganised as its been more than 20 years since it has had to prepare to deal with a real threat from Egypt.

Many other benefits deriving out of the peace treaty, such as a gradual cutback in the deployment of forces, a reduction in the age of those exempt from reserve duty, and a sweeping diversion of resources toward social and economic goals, will also have to be relooked into by Jerusalem.

The Israeli army has been trained for clashes with Hizbullah and Hamas, at the most in combination with Syria, but lacks any serious plan for a scenario in which Egyptian divisions would enter Sinai.

The situation could turn even more problematic for the Jewish state if the uprising spreads to Jordan and threaten the Hashemite rule.

In such a scenario, Israel's two long peaceful borders will face an entirely new reality.

The Palestinians too are likely to reach the conclusion that mass demonstrations, combined with a limited amount of popular violence, will advance their statehood bid without the need for an agreement that would include obligations to Israel, further complicating things for Jerusalem.


First Published: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 00:33

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