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Border shooting attack shows Egypt divided on Israel ties: Analyst

The recent deadly shooting attack near Egypt’s border with the occupied territories exposes a wide gap between the Egyptian government and people on relations with the Israeli regime, says an Iraqi political expert.

In an interview with Press TV, Alaa Fadhil predicted tensions in Cairo-Tel Aviv ties following the killing of three Israeli soldiers by an Egyptian policeman in the Negev desert.

Last Saturday, an Egyptian officer shot dead two Israeli border guards in a military post, and when Israeli backup arrived at the scene, a firefight ensued leaving both the gunman and a third Israeli soldier dead.

The Egyptian policeman managed to infiltrate the occupied lands and remain undetected for several hours before and after the initial attack.

Egypt said its officer had crossed the border in pursuit of drug smugglers.

The border incident was the first deadly exchange of fire along the Egyptian frontier with the occupied Palestinian territories in over a decade.

“This incident shows the depth of division between the honorable Egyptian nation and the country’s ruling administration,” Fadhil said. “Unlike its leaders, the nation is against the normalization of relations with the Israeli regime.”

“More than 40 years after the Camp David Accords, the Zionists are still hated by the Egyptian nation and their ties with the nation have been limited only to their embassy. Thus, the Egyptians are not distanced from the main issue of the Arab and Muslim world, which is the Palestinian cause.”

Egypt was the first Arab country to make peace with the Israeli regime after the 1978 Camp David Accords. The two sides maintain close security cooperation, and fighting is rare along their border.

The incident, said the analyst, will put Egypt in a dilemma of giving concessions to Israel and shattering the trust of resistance fighters or sticking to a national position and enraging the Zionists and the US.

He also noted that the shooting may restore Egypt’s standing, something willingly overlooked by the country’s political system.

“Undoubtedly, the incident will spark reactions from the Zionist regime, in the sense that new tensions will be created in Egypt’s relations with Tel Aviv,” Fadhil added.

“In the meantime, there is a possibility that the Egyptian government will be inclined towards another direction in order to align with its people.”

He further said Israel will reconsider its security measures as a result of the incident, which laid bare the regime’s inability to control its border with the Gaza Strip in the face of the attacks by resistance fighters.

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