Egyptians were surprised on Wednesday when local media reported that Israeli warships had traversed the Suez Canal for the second time in as many weeks.
In the latest incident, two Israeli gunboats sailed openly through the canal on Tuesday on their way to the Red Sea. Two weeks ago, an Israeli submarine passed through the canal twice.
While Egypt is officially at peace with Israel, most Egyptians still view Israel as an enemy nation, and would reject the notion of any military cooperation with the Jewish state.
But Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Gheit said his country's peace agreements with Israel permit Israeli naval ships to travel through the canal, just as the naval vessels of many other nations do.
Many in the region saw the open transit of Israeli naval ships through the Suez Canal as a warning to Iran that though there may be no love lost between them, Israel and many of the surrounding Arab states will cooperate with one another to prevent the Islamic Republic from becoming a nuclear power.
Gheit refused to comment on that point.