Israel remains wary of situation in Egypt

Thursday, July 04, 2013 |  Ryan Jones

No one in Israel shed any tears over Wednesday's ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood from Cairo's halls of power. But there is some trepidation in the Jewish state over what is to come next.

Israeli officials themselves will only say they are "watching the situation closely," and that is a wise tactic, as it denies the opposing factions in Egypt of being able to accuse the other of working on behalf of the "Zionists."

And the truth is, in the short-term, it matters little to Israel who takes over. Israel has no illusions that any potential Egyptian leader will carry with him a love for Zion, though very few expect animosity toward Israel to negatively impact the Israel-Egypt peace treaty.

What's more important right now is how the transition will affect threats emanating from the border region.

With the Egyptian army busy keeping control in Egypt's major population centers, there is little doubt that various terror groups, and even the Muslim Brotherhood's more radical elements, will take the opportunity to strengthen their position in Sinai. From there, they can launch attacks on southern Israel, or assist Hamas in doing the same from Gaza.

There also remains the possibility, minor as it may seem at present, that the Muslim Brotherhood will not take this coup lying down, and something similar to Syria's civil war could erupt in Egypt.

For now, Israelis, like their leaders, are "watching the situation closely."

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