Reuters reports: Israel has looked on at upheaval in Egypt largely in silence, keen to avoid disrupting strategic security cooperation with a military it sees as critical to curbing attacks by Islamist militants in neighboring Sinai, officials and analysts said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had aides instruct cabinet ministers to avoid public comment about Egypt, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Israel and the United States see the situation in Egypt very, very differently and justifiably the prime minister wouldn’t want Israeli cabinet ministers to publicly criticize American policy,” Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser, said on Channel 2 television.
In private, one senior Israeli official expressed alarm at U.S. President Barack Obama’s condemnation of the bloodshed in Egypt and cancellation of a joint military exercise with Cairo.
“Eyebrows have been raised,” the official said.
Israel worries that any sign of wavering U.S. support for Egypt’s military may embolden Islamist militants sympathetic with the Muslim Brotherhood, ousted by the Egyptian army after a year in power.
Eiland backed the crackdown by Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the Brotherhood this week.
“Sisi in the situation he faced, had no choice but to do what he did,” said Eiland, adding he thought Western outrage at the scale of the bloodshed was understandable. Almost 800 people have been killed so far.