Daily Israel Report

Egypt's Sisi Demands Israel Recognize 'Palestine'

Ex-army chief and likely future president demands recognition of 'Palestine' with capital in Jerusalem, gives lip service to Israel treaty.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 5/7/2014, 11:18 AM

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Reuters

Egypt's ex-army chief and leading presidential candidate Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi declared that if Israel won't recognize the "state of Palestine," with its capital in Jerusalem, he will never visit Israel.

Speaking in a TV interview on Saturday, Sisi added "Egypt is a country whose policy, history and honor to contracts and treaties is firmly rooted. I'm part of the country, and will respect all international treaties and contracts, including the peace treaty with Israel."

Sisi's lip service to the peace treaty signed with Israel in 1979 comes as the treaty has been increasingly put in question since the 2011 "Arab Spring."

Addressing the Israeli government, Sisi said "a true opportunity is before you to have a true peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is necessary to open the 'gate of hope' in the (Middle East) region."

Peace talks with the PA were torpedoed after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas refused to recognize Israel as the Jewish state, breached talk conditions by applying to 15 international conventions, and signed a unity deal with the terrorist group Hamas.

For his part, Sisi promised on Monday that the Muslim Brotherhood would not be allowed to exist in Egypt if he wins the upcoming May 26-27 elections, in which he is strongly favored over his lone contender. The Muslim Brotherhood is associated with Hamas, and Egypt has recently banned both groups.

An Egyptian court last month passed death sentences on 683 Muslim Brotherhood members. In another case in which 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sentenced to death the month before, the judge upheld 37 death sentences but reversed the death sentences sentences of the other 492, commuting most to life in prison. Most of the people sentenced were tried in absentia.