Egypt wants assurances Israel will keep Turkey away from Gaza

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The Egyptian government has asked Israel for clarification on talks aimed at repairing relations between Jerusalem and Turkey.

Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Sisi
Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Sisi

Egypt is calling on Israel not to give in to Turkey’s demands on the lifting of the naval blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, senior clerks in Jerusalem told Haaretz on Jan. 7 on condition of anonymity. Turkey is a top supporter of Hamas, which is Gaza’s offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is banned in Egypt.

Egypt has destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula and has turned the southern edge of the region into a buffer zone.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel tried to calm tensions between Egypt and Turkey, but the attempts failed as Egypt remains steadfast against further Turkish involvement in Gaza.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP party’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood has sent Egypt-Turkey relations into a tailspin. In 2013 a military coup saw the Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi deposed as president in Egypt, and replaced by military chief and current President Abdul Fatah Sisi.