As the international community at large attempts to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas based on moral equivalency, Egypt and Turkey are both taking sides. Egypt, under General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, is joining Israel in attempting to destroy the terrorist tunnel systems under Gaza’s borders with the two countries. Turkey is hinting at launching another Gaza flotilla.
Since the election of Mohammed Mursi as President of Egypt in 2012 – and his subsequent removal from power one year later – Egypt understands perfectly the enemy Israel is dealing with.
Cairo has poured troops into the peninsula to counter a rising insurgency since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year, and its security operation involves the destruction of these tunnels.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which is the main power in Gaza, reportedly uses the tunnels to smuggle arms, food and money into the blockaded coastal enclave.
Egypt has been fending off Muslim Brotherhood elements ever since Mursi’s removal and is necessarily finding itself even more closely aligned with Israel:
Ties between Hamas and Cairo have deteriorated since the Egyptian army deposed Morsi on July 3, 2013. Hamas is an affiliate of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Cairo also accuses of Hamas of being involved in militant attacks inside Egypt, which have multiplied since Morsi was toppled.
Here is video of an Egyptian citizen who is expressing support for Israel (h/t BNI):
In a reversal of twentieth century alliances, Turkey – which used to be Israel’s closest ally in the region – is led by Islamic fundamentalist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It’s now being reported that Turkey may be attempting to replicate the 2010 Gaza flotilla:
Amid Israel’s Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas attacks from Gaza, a “Freedom Flotilla” is being organized in Turkey to bring humanitarian aid to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal enclave with the protection of the Turkish military, according to an unconfirmed media report.
The flotilla, called “Freedom Flotilla II,” is being organized by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), the same organization that was behind the Mavi Marmara flotilla that sought to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010.
The man at the helm of the IHH during the first Gaza flotilla is still in place there:
IHH chairman Bulent Yildrim was quoted by The Middle East Monitor as telling Gulf Online last week that the activists would set sail as soon as they receive the necessary permit from the authorities in Ankara and that the Turkish military would provide protection to the ship.
Earlier this year, Shoebat.com reported that Yildrim was in attendance at a 2010 conference in Yemen also attended by Malik Obama, President Obama’s brother. The conference was a who’s who of jihadis, terrorist financiers, and Muslim fundamentalists to include the brother of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and the leader of the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY).
The Barack Obama administration has been far more supportive of Mursi than of el-Sisi. In fact, Egypt has been watching Malik Obama very closely for quite some time, as Shoebat.com has consistently reported. Malik’s dealings with Turkey are also worthy of further investigation.
The relationship between Egypt and Turkey has been in a state of perpetual deterioration since Mursi’s removal last year. That removal represented the first major setback for the Muslim Brotherhood and Erdogan’s insatiable desire for a return of the Ottoman Empire, since the ‘Arab Spring’. Erdogan even had an emotional breakdown on national television:
Egypt’s support for Israel in the latter’s fighting with Hamas also makes the idea of any ceasefire a bit more complicated. Whenever calls for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel get louder, those calls mean one thing; Hamas is losing. When Egypt is fighting Hamas, the situation clearly becomes more difficult to manage as it includes two additional parties.
The rhetoric between Egypt and Turkey continues to be ratcheted up:
Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told AFP that the protest comes after Erdogan in an interview with US television channel CNN “repeated again that Sisi was a tyrant and that Egypt has no role” in resolving the Gaza crisis.
Erdogan also denounced Sisi on July 18 as an “illegitimate tyrant,” saying that Cairo could not be relied upon to negotiate a truce in Gaza.
“The Turkish leadership has repeatedly interfered in the internal affairs of the country, which is totally unacceptable,” the ministry said.
As the situation in Gaza unfolds, the saber-rattling between Turkey and Egypt should also be watched very closely.