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Morsi Aide: Israel Will Cease to Exist Within Decade

Deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm in Egypt says that Israel would cease to exist by the end of the decade.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 1/2/2013, 1:16 AM

Mohamed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm in Egypt, the Freedom and Justice Party, announced Tuesday that Israel would cease to exist by the end of the decade.

Essam el-Erian, who serves an advisor to Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, had attempted to dispel a recent controversy over comments he made in an interview last week, in which he invited Egyptian born Jews to return to the country.

In an interview with the Saudi-backed newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Erian said that the "ideology of Zionism" had ended in failure and denounced Israel as "Palestine's occupiers."

"Jewish occupiers of the territory of historic Palestine are an obstacle to the Palestinians' right of return," he said. "Anyone who can read the future can see that this project has a decade, less than a decade to go, and it is our faith that the people of Palestine can then return to Palestine."

"There will be no such thing as Israel,” he continued, “instead there will be Palestine which will be home to Jews, Muslims and Druze and all the people who were there from the start.”

"Those who want to stay will stay as Palestinian citizens. Those who conquered Palestine will have to go back to their countries," he added.

On Thursday, el-Erian sparked controversy by stating that, "Every Egyptian has a right to return especially if he is making room for a Palestinian. I want to enable the Palestinians to return to their land," he said. "I call upon the Jews, Egypt is worthier of you than Israel."

All but a handful of the Egyptian Jewish community, which once amounted to a approximately 80,000, left the country after the Israel-Egypt wars of 1948, 1956 and 1967- the majority of whom returned to Israel.