by WorldTribune Staff, August 23, 2016
Egypt’s foreign minister said on Aug. 21 that Israel’s policies and actions against Palestinians do not constitute terrorism.
“You can look at [the question of Israeli ‘terrorism’] from the perspective of a regime of force, but [looked at from a more traditional understanding of terrorism,] there is no evidence showing a link between Israel and armed terrorist groups,” Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told students visiting the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Cairo, according to a report on the Ynet news website.
“There is no conclusive [proof] leading to that conclusion,” he said.
Shoukry’s comments came during a question and answer session with students where he was asked why Palestinian children killed in the conflict with Israel were not considered victims of terrorism.
Husan Badran, a spokesman for the Hamas terrorist organization, tweeted: “Anyone who doesn’t view the crimes of the occupation as terrorism is physically blind and suffers from moral decline and a lack of direction.”
Shoukry traveled to Israel last month in a visit that was kept secret from the public until the last minute. He is the first Egyptian foreign minister to visit Israel since 2007.
A diplomatic official said Shoukry’s visit indicated a growing willingness on Egypt’s part to make public its strong relationship with Israel, and that his comments on Aug. 21 were “yet another indication of the good health of our relations with Egypt.”
According to the official, the Egyptian government realizes that Israel is “not the enemy,” and is now more willing to say it publicly.