Egypt's Al-Nour Party Threatens to Change Treaty with Israel
Egypt’s Islamist al-Nour Party, a Salafist ultra-conservative party that has garnered second in the recent parliamentary elections in the country, said on Saturday that it would not revoke the peace treaty with Israel.
However, the party did say that it would attempt to amend “its exploitative clauses” through legal measures and practices.
The official party statement came after a week of commentary on the party’s stance toward Israel and the 1979 Camp David treaty, which made Egypt the first Arab state to make peace with Israel.
The al-Nour Party said that it “views with great severity a situation where Egypt unilaterally violates the international agreement, despite the fact it was signed by a dictatorship.”
Al-Nour said it will honor the treaty but will seek to revise certain clauses, but would “not do anything that would harm its citizens.”
It continued to say, “The party strongly objects normalization and dialogue attempts and establishing relations with an entity which wants to wipe off our identity, occupies our lands, imposes a siege on our brothers and strongly supports our hangers.”
Last week as diplomatic unease between the two states continued, the group also expressed willingness to negotiate with Israel in the future.
Israel’s new ambassador is also prepared to open communication with Islamic officials in Egypt, including representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood and the al-Nour Party.
“We should make every effort to explain that we are not the enemies of the Egyptian people or enemies of the Palestinians,” said an official in Jerusalem.
The Israeli government has not yet made any official attempts to communicate with the parties.
Tensions between Israel and Egypt have heightened since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak, who protected Israeli interests during his 30-year rule.
Relations have been increasingly uneasy, especially after Israeli Defense Forces shot five Egyptian soldiers dead in a border scuffle in the Sinai.
In response to the incident, Egyptian demonstrators gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy on September 9, demanding that Egypt’s interim government, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), take a stronger stand against Israel.
The protesters stormed the embassy complex, tearing down a protective wall that was constructed around the building.
Israeli diplomats were evacuated from the scene.
Observers of Egyptian politics in have feared that the relationship between the two nations may dissolve with a post-Mubarak Egyptian government, as frustrations with Israel mount in the Egyptian street, and Islamist parties take the largest share of seats in Egypt’s parliament.
By Joseph Mayton