Expert: Allowing Egyptian Soldiers into Sinai was Mistake
Middle East expert Moshe Sharon: allowing Egypt to send soldiers into Sinai sets a bad precedent.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/2/2011, 5:15 PM / Last Update: 2/2/2011, 11:00 AM
The Israeli government's Middle East expert Prof. Moshe Sharon is critical of the Israeli government's recent decision to let Egypt stream military forces into the Sinai peninsula in order to fight a Bedouin insurrection there.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva's Hebrew news service, Sharon said that there is no denying the danger that a regime change in Egypt could lead to the abrogation of the peace treaty between that country and Israel. "There is always the possibility of the suspension of the peace treaty, which at this point is no more than a mutual non-aggression pact," he warned.
Any entrance by the Egyptian military into Sinai is an abrogation of the peace agreement and would be a casus belli - a justification for war - according to Sharon. "The question is - will this happen and who will lead Israel at that time. Right now, this is a distant prospect, but it must be taken into consideration."
The peace agreements with Egypt contain details that bind the Egyptians, he explained. "In the peace treaty, there are precise articles that speak about how many artillery pieces and soldiers they may hold inside the Sinai. Everything is exact and the details are spelled out."
Sharon says the recent Israeli decision to agree to the entry of Egyptian soldiers into Sinai is a bad precedent. "I do not understand why they had to allow the soldiers into the Sinai and break the agreement. A decision like that should not have been made in such a hasty manner. This is a violation of one of the most important articles [in the peace accords], and it is not the first time that Egyptian soldiers operate in the Sinai peninsula."
Sharon also said that it is possible that things will take a turn for the worse in Egypt and that Israel will be blamed for the turmoil, for some reason, as it usually is.