The Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday reaffirmed a statement by one of it's leaders last week that it intends to negatively alter or cancel Egypt's peace treaty with Israel after the group assumes power in Cairo.
The Muslim Brotherhood's affirmation came in response to a claim by US State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland last Thursday that the Obama Administration had received secret assurances that the Brotherhood would uphold the Camp David Accords following its electoral victory.
Nuland's assertion was itself a response to an interview published in the Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat last week in which Muslim Brotherhood deputy leader Dr. Rashad Bayoumi insisted that his group will never recognize Israel or its right to exist.
"This is not an option, whatever the circumstances, we do not recognize Israel at all," said Bayoumi, adding, "The Brotherhood respects international conventions, but we will take legal action against the peace treaty with the Zionist entity."
In her press briefing, Nuland dismissed Bayoumi's remarks and his commanding position by stating that he is "just one member of the Muslim Brotherhood." Nuland said that Washington had "other assurances from the party" that it would not follow the policies communicated by Bayoumi.
Essam Arian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing the Freedom and Justice Party, shot back by insisting that neither Nuland nor anyone else in the Obama Administration had received any such guarantees.
"No one in Egypt can promise anything on behalf of the entire nation," Arian told the London-based Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.
Another Brotherhood official, Subhi Saleh, added that while "the Muslim Brotherhood will honor all agreements...no agreements are sacred and any signed agreement can be reconsidered."
That revelation again raised concerns that once in power, the Muslim Brotherhood will hold a national referendum on maintaining the peace treaty with Israel, a move that Bayoumi previously championed.
In light of the results of Egypt's parliamentary election - the Muslim Brotherhood won 40 percent of the vote, while second place went to the even more radical al-Nour Party - and the fact that the Brotherhood's official party position is to reject Israel, such a referendum would certainly be the end of the Camp David Accords.
No one is more pleased by that realization than Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who told British newspaper The Independent on Saturday that with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, "Israel is in a security situation they have never been in before."
Hamas was born out of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and Haniyeh sees the group as a natural ally in Hamas' quest to eventually eradicate the Jewish state.
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