Since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, "the level of security and control over the Sinai has decreased, and there is more smuggling and a greater probability of terror attempts," the head of Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, told the Cabinet Sunday.
Maj.-Gen. Kochavi gave a lengthy description of the recent events in the Middle East, their background and their implications for Israel. He said that the changes in the region were historical ones and will continue to affect the Middle East for years to come. For the first time, he added, Arab leaders find that they need to take public opinion into account.
The current leadership in Egypt, as well as the top contenders for future leadership in the country, see strategic importance in the peace treaty with Israel, he determined.
Hamas is the central force in Gaza, Kochavi said, but recently Islamic Jihad has gained strength. "Hamas prefers to exert control over the [other terror] organizations through dialogue and not through force," he explained.
Iran and the radical camp in the Middle East gained confidence at the start of the Middle East upheaval, but are now more worried about the dangers from home and are concerned that events in Syria could weaken a central link in the radical axis.