update deskMiddle East

Israeli FM stresses right to self-defense to Cairo counterpart

The moderate countries in the region must act to stop Iran's aggression," Israel Katz told Sameh Shoukry.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz arrives for the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Jan. 22, 2023. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz arrives for the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Jan. 22, 2023. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Sunday spoke with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry to emphasize Jerusalem’s “right to self-defense” in the face of Tehran’s unprecedented drone and missile attack.

“Iran and its proxies are the central threat to stability in the Middle East. The moderate countries in the region, along with the rest of the world, must act to stop Iran’s aggression,” said Katz.

“The relationship with Egypt is important, and we will continue to work together to maintain stability and security in the region,” he added.

Cairo refrained from condemning Tehran’s massive attack on Israel, with its Foreign Ministry only expressing “deep concern” and urging all sides to exercise “utmost restraint.” (In contrast, Egypt did condemn the April 1 attack attributed to Israel that killed an Iranian general in Syria.)

As Israel’s war with Hamas rolls on, the strategic importance of the Philadelphi Corridor, an Israeli code name for an 8.7-mile-long border strip between Gaza and Egypt, has come into sharp focus. 

Initially established as a buffer zone controlled by Israeli forces under the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, the area became a point of contention following Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. 

Since Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in 2007, the Philadelphi Corridor has been a critical arms smuggling route for the terror group.

Israeli government representatives have repeatedly emphasized the need to secure this area to ensure the demilitarization of Gaza and prevent the flow of weapons and other materials to Hamas. At the same time, Egypt has voiced its fierce opposition to such a move, warning of major consequences for Egyptian-Israeli relations. 

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates