‘Egypt will show unity with Palestinians’

An Egyptian court has sentenced two Israelis and one Ukrainian to life in prison for smuggling arms to the country.

The sentence came on Monday, as the three were charged with smuggling weapons across the Egyptian-Israeli border in Sinai Peninsula.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Hani al-Basous, a professor at the Islamic University of Gaza, to further discuss the matter.

The video offers the opinions of two additional guests: Webster Tarpley, an author and historian from Washington, and Ayman Salama who is with the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs.

What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Dr. Basou, first of all, I want to start with the decision that was made by the Egyptian parliamentarians; the motion that said that Israel is the first enemy of Egypt and Arabs.

Mr. Basous, why is it that the parliamentarians in Egypt make that conclusion?

Basous: Well, I think that the parliament in Egypt has made such a decision, such a motion, to express its own willingness in the future to take steps to support the Palestinian people.

They believe that Israel and the United States are the enemies for the Muslims in the region and especially what has been done for the past few days in the Gaza strip that led the Egyptian parliament to take such a step.

I think the killing of innocent Palestinian people in Gaza by the Israeli machine and warplanes has motivated the Muslim or Islamic MPs, which are in the Egyptian parliament which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, to take such a motion.

We can understand as well that the election which was a few months ago with the result was for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic parties which won, which had some victory in the election. Now they will change the Egyptian politics.

We can understand in the past that Egypt was one of the main allies to Israel and the United States in the region and we can understand that Egypt used to get funds from the United Sates because of its position supporting the Israeli side and its own contact and its own military and security connection with Israel.

Nowadays, we can see is that the situation in Egypt has changed and it is going to change completely in the next few years as Islamic Muslim Brotherhood will take over everything.

I think the situation would change. But this is going to take more time.

Press TV: Mr. Basous, speaking about what is at stake here for Israel, you say that Israel is facing a crisis in terms of the alliance that it had with the former regime in Egypt and now facing a new Egypt.

We know that, we had in the news; a court in Egypt recently sentenced two Israelis on charges of arm smuggling into Egypt.

So how valid do you think these accusations are against Israel? Getting involved in fomenting unrest, what do you think it is doing to keep what it had before in Egypt?

Basous: Well, I think the situation would completely change between Egypt and Israel and we can understand that the anti-Israeli sentiment existed in the Egyptian society a long time ago, but the Egyptian regime was containing this for the past many years under the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Now that the situation is changing, I think we are going to expect some kind of tense situation between the two sides.

This would come up in the next few years and in the next few months. Up to this moment as you can see, the Egyptian parliament [has] taken some steps, [has] taken some motions, accusing the Israeli side of trying to sabotage any Egyptian effort to keep their own security in Sinai.

Press TV: So do you think Mr. Basous that Israel is actually getting itself involved in trying to meddle in some affairs, as some parliamentarians have been saying?

Basous: I think Israel now looked itself in the middle of nowhere and Israel was with the Egyptian authorities in the past with a good contact and good relationship and having some funds from the United States, but today the situation has completely changed because what Israel has been doing, Israel has been trying to affect the security of the Egyptian people in Sinai.

We can understand that Sinai itself, up to this moment, by the Camp David accord does not have the full control of the Egyptian authorities.

Now I think the Egyptian people will take some steps in the future in order to cancel such an accord in which Israel would lose so much by doing so. I think until the Israeli side takes some steps to change the whole situation by taking some steps to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people and to approve that it can go for peace at this or it can respect itself by not taking the people of Gaza and the Palestinians. This will lead to some thing to be changed.

Press TV: Mr. Basous, that brings us to the next question. So basically looking at the situation here in Egypt, do you think we can conclude, in your analysis, that Egypt is going forward with the demands of the revolution and that actually the United States and Israel are among those allies that are going to see their interest put in a strain here?

Basous: Well, I think yes. I think we are going to see change in Egypt. But this change will take more time.

Egypt was under Hosni Mubarak regime for more than 30 years and was one of the main allies to the United States and Israel.

Now the situation is completely changing; step by step we have seen the election and the victory of Islamic Movements in Egypt. I think, in the next few months, we are going to see a new election, a presidential election.

It takes another two or three years or much after that; Egypt would be strong, Egypt would have control over Sinai; Egypt would have its own full sovereignty or be independent economically, politically and I think the Egyptian people would feel the freedom; they can defend their own wills and I think Egypt will be one of the main players in the Middle East.

Egypt should not depend on the fund from the United States, from Israel. Egypt would have to stand on its own feet.

And I think the future before Egypt in the region, as long as Egypt can achieve the goals and the objectives of the young people who went for this uprising, many of them were killed and wounded to achieve change, political change in Egypt and I think we are going to see the fruit and we are going to see the objective, the outcome would come up in the next few years in which some changes in the Middle East would exist.

(presstv.com / 15.03.2012)

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