Egypt Threatens Israel: 'Regional Deterioration'

Senior Egyptian sources warn they, like Jordan, may act on Temple Mount clashes, press Netanyahu to call nationalist MKs and warn them.

Ari Yashar,

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Reuters

Senior Egyptian officials both from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government and the army have contacted their Israeli counterparts in the last two days, threatening that the tensions over the Temple Mount may cause "regional deterioration."

The covert communication, which was revealed to the Hebrew-language site Walla!, included a warning regarding Jordan's move to pull its ambassador to Israel on Wednesday, after Arab rioters attacked police on the Mount - the holiest site in Judaism - and forced them to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque after barricading themselves inside and launching a hail of fireworks and rocks.

The Egyptian sources reportedly said Jordan isn't the only country that is "upset" by the tensions at the site, and that the entire Arab world is united in opposing Israel's enforcement of order on the Mount, which is under the de facto control of the Jordanian waqf (Islamic trust).

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) visited the Mount in a call for Jewish prayer rights at the site on Sunday, after Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick was shot last Wednesday by an Arab terrorist; likewise, Building Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) dismissed Jordanian threats regarding the Mount.

In response, the Egyptian sources reportedly demanded that Israel's leadership "rein in" the statements.

The demand casts a different light on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin's decision to take the unusual move Thursday of calling MKs individually and urging them to quiet down the Temple Mount discussion.

It also reflects on Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's (Yisrael Beytenu) public condemnation of "irresponsible politicians" visiting the Temple Mount on Thursday, in which he called such visits "stupidity" and a search for cheap publicity.

Liberman is the only one able to replace Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich of his own party who has come in for heat over his inability to prevent Arab terrorism in the capital, but his statement indicates he has little intention of doing so. Aharonovich on Wednesday said following the latest terror attack it likely isn't the last.

On the Jordanian front, Netanyahu has released a statement since the Wednesday recall of the ambassador vowing to keep the discriminatory status quo on the Temple Mount, and on Thursday called Jordanian King Abdullah II and promised to him that he would not allow Jewish prayer at the site.




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