New Egypt president must respect Camp David, control Sinai: Israel defence minister

Yasser Seddiq, Monday 18 Jun 2012

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak says the self-proclaimed Jewish state expects Egypt's new president to retake control of the Sinai Peninsula, respect international commitments including US-brokered 1979 peace treaty

Mubarak and Ehud Barak
Egyptian ousted President Mubarak (R) shaking hands with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak during a meeting in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, 26 December 2007 .(File Photo: AFP

Egypt's new president should retake control of the Sinai Peninsula, which has witnessed mounting armed violence since jailed-president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February 2011, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Monday in remarks reported by the Jerusalem Post.

"We expect the president to take responsibility for all of Egypt's international commitments, including the peace treaty with Israel, and to ensure security arrangements are in place in the Sinai to stop these kinds of attacks," Barak said during a meeting with his Polish counterpart in Tel Aviv.

Unofficial results show the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi has defeated Mubarak's last premier, Ahmed Shafiq, to become Egypt's new president. Official results are expected on Thursday.

Barak's remarks came in response to an attack earlier Monday, when gunmen infiltrated into Israel, killing one Israeli and seriously wounding another. The attack came almost a year after the last deadly infiltration from the Sinai into Israel.

The incident took place at around 6am along a section of the Egyptian border, located about 30 km from the Gaza Strip and close to the Israeli town of Nitzana.

The border incident came just 48 hours after two rockets were fired from Sinai into southern Israel, hitting close to the Negev desert town of Mitzpe Ramon and near Ovda, which lies some 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Eilat.

A senior military official said Sunday that Israel had not yet confirmed the identity of those responsible for the rocket attack.

“This is a sensitive time for Egypt and we are prepared for the possibility that there will be a further escalation from the Sinai,” a senior army official was quoted as saying, the Jerusalem post added.

The ousting of Egypt's long-term president in February 2011 caused much consternation in Israel.

"Mubarak was a close friend who kept Israel's security for 30 years," Israeli radio said just before ousted president Hosni Mubarak was handed a life sentence on 2 June for participating in the killing of protesters during the uprising that toppled him from power. 

Muslim Brotherhood, vehemently critical of Israel, has confirmed in many occasions that the Islamic group may seek to modify Egypt's 33-year-old peace treaty with Israel but it will not invalidate it.  

The 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. on the 26 of March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords.

The Egypt-Israel treaty was signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter.

"My opinion is that the treaty will not be modified in any unilateral way," former US President Jimmy Carter said at a news conference in Cairo to present the preliminary findings of his election monitors in the first round of the Egyptian presidential elections two weeks ago.

Short link: