Israel Fears Egypt’s Coup Could Threaten US Military Aid

US Funding for Junta a Key Part of Israel-Egypt Peace Deal

Israel’s peaceful relationship with its neighbors in Egypt comes at a high price: the deal obliges the US to provide massive amounts of unconditional military aid to Egypt.

And that’s where things get dicey. A military coup normally obliges the US to suspend military aid, which is why the US is avoiding calling this coup a “coup” in so many words, hoping to gloss over that fact.

But Egypt is a big deal, and a coup there is a little hard for the US to just write off as no big deal, which has Israeli officials fretting the prospect that the US might eventually be obliged to revoke aid to the new junta and “violating” the Egypt-Israel treaty in doing so.

Not that this means a serious risk of war, as both nations have been be getting billions from the US for decades and are both armed to the teeth. The US money buys Israel a lot of influence however, like the right under the treaty to dictate Egypt’s military policy in Sinai.

Israel is also expressing concern that jihadists will use the “power vacuum” to carry out attacks along the border, though Egypt has heavily deployed its military along the Gaza frontier, so this also seems unlikely.

In the end, the first impact the coup may have for Israel is weakening Hamas and strengthening Fatah, as Hamas had close ideological ties with President Morsi and was even in the process of ditching its long-standing alliance with Syria and Iran in favor of Egypt.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.