Sunday, April 12, 2009

Israel is profiting from Egypt-Hezbollah quarrel

Haaretz, here

"...Nasrallah's address once again highlights his willingness to gamble, to the point of direct conflict between his organization and the country until recently considered the leader of the Arab world. Nasrallah has been insulting Mubarak since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, when Hezbollah found out that Cairo was pressuring the Olmert government to continue its military attack on Hezbollah. The Egyptian response, for now, is somewhat hesitant, despite the firm steps it has taken on the ground. The most senior official to mention the affair as of last night has been a representative of the general prosecution in Cairo. So far, only anonymous officials have been quoted, warning that Mubarak would not allow Hezbollah to turn his country into a second Lebanon. Weekend editorials in the Egyptian press called Nasrallah an "Iranian agent." In terms of practical steps, the past two days have seen reports of the uncovering of a rocket factory in Egyptian Rafah, the arrest of smugglers on the Israeli border and the capture of a man attempting to smuggle $2 million to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. ...
Israel, which can regard the events with some satisfaction, is keeping a low profile. Hezbollah's penetration into Egypt, now facing a close race for Mubarak's successor, leaves no doubt as to Iran's intentions. This may result in increased security coordination between Israel and Egypt against arms smuggling into the Strip, and will apparently also dictate Cairo's continued cool stance toward Gaza."

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