Israel is Egypt’s no. 1 enemy, MPs declare
People's Assembly Speaker Saad al-Katatni addresses the parliament in Cairo on January 23, 2012.
The lower house of the Egyptian parliament has unanimously approved a text declaring that Israel is the number one enemy of Egypt and calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and a halt to gas exports to Israel.
On Monday, Egyptian MPs voted by a show of hands on the text of a report, which was compiled by the Arab Affairs Committee of the People's Assembly (lower house of parliament).
"Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity, which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation," the report declared, adding, "It will deal with that entity as an enemy, and the Egyptian government is hereby called upon to review all its relations and accords with that enemy."
In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but was compelled to agree to supply gas to Israel as one of the main economic conditions of the US-sponsored peace deal.
According to the results of an opinion poll conducted by Synovate for Press TV and published on October 3, 2011, an overwhelming majority of Egyptians oppose the terms of the country's gas deal with Israel.
In the poll, seventy-three percent of the respondents said they were opposed to gas exports to Israel. Only 9 percent said they approved of Egypt supplying gas to Israel, and 12 percent had no opinion.
The issue of supplying gas to Israel has always been a contentious topic for Egyptians, who view Israel as an enemy and oppose engaging in any form of business with it.
According to a $2.5 billion export deal with Tel Aviv, signed in 2005, Israel receives around 40 percent of its gas supply from Egypt at an extremely low price.