Israel won’t enjoy the same close relations with Egypt following its Arab Spring elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, adding that regional threats against Israel were on the rise.
Egypt’s parliamentary elections, which started throughout the country on Monday, were of the reasons Netanyahu delayed the demolition of the Mughrabi Bridge, which leads from the Western Wall Plaza to the Temple Mount.
Sources said Netanyahu’s bureau asked the Jerusalem municipality to postpone the work due to the sensitivity of the issue and warnings from Egypt that the action would focus protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Israel.
Speaking at the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, the prime minister he didn’t “expect Israel to have the same intimacy with the next Egyptian regime,” adding that Israel’s security interests couldn’t rely “solely on the peace treaty, because that treaty could come undone.”
“Generally, security threats to Israel have been increasingly on the rise. It would be right to enter a phase of stability and empowerment, with an emphasis on intelligence,” Netanyahu said, adding that there were “more than a few elements in the Arab world which wish to tighten links with Israel,” even if only as a result from their fears of Iran.”
Referring to Israel’s plans to replace a footbridge leading to the Temple Mount, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, called Thursday on Jordanian King Abdullah to dissuade Israel from replacing the ramp.
Qaradawi claims that Israel wants to replace the bridge to ease access by settlers and its security forces to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Posters were put up at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University calling on Muslims to protect the mosque.
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