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