Israel behind sectarian tension in Egypt: Deputy PM

Ahram Online, Monday 13 Jun 2011

Yehia El-Gamal attaches blame for sectarian tension in Egypt on foreign actors and speaks of how Mubarak is held in esteem by the Army

Yehia El-Gamal, Egypt's deputy prime minister in the interim cabinet, has accused Israel of being behind the sectarian tension plaguing Egypt.

In an interview published today in the Lebanese El Nashra news site, El-Gamal says that international intelligence agencies, specifically in the US and Israel, do not want to leave Egypt alone. He also did not exclude the possibility of the US helping Israel to execute its plan in Egypt.

“Israel understands that a strong Egypt is a danger for them and they want to make Egypt weak,” says El-Gamal. “And nothing breaks or weakens Egypt more than sectarian tension or clashes between Muslims and Christians.”

El-Gamal added that Muslims and Christians in Egypt are not two sects but rather citizens of one country, with no differences. However, he warned that there are “fanatical minds” on both sides that can be manipulated into doing things they don’t understand.

Egypt, the deputy PM continued, has recently become aware of the significant role it plays in both the Arab and African arenas, a fact that was disregarded by the former regime for the last two decades.

Speaking of the fate of ousted president Mubarak, El-Gamal said Mubarak is at an advanced age and that the Egyptian army will not forget the role he played in the 1973 October War against Israel. While these two points non-sequitar the other, they do possibly signal that a court room does not figure in the ousted dictator's fate.

El-Gamal stressed that the armed forces have worked to protect the revolution and had announced from the very beginning that it will not act as an alternative to the legitimacy of the people. The armed forces, he added, have repeatedly said that their job is to protect Egypt’s borders and not remain in the street.

Short link: