Getting a little hotter while diplomats scurry – from the New York Times:
Diplomats scrambled to avert a crisis in relations between Egypt and Israel on Saturday, and the Israeli government issued a rare statement of regret for the killing of three Egyptian security officers by an Israeli warplane.
Tensions between the two countries, which on Saturday led Egypt to announce that it would recall its ambassador from Tel Aviv, reached the worst point since the Camp David peace accords three decades ago, spurred by a burst of violence along their shared border in the Sinai Peninsula. A series of attacks there killed eight Israelis on Thursday; the Israeli government then retaliated against Gaza-based militants, and the three Egyptians died in the crossfire…
My question: were the security officers in Gaza? If so, why? If they were, then it is yet another indication that at least elements of the Egyptian government are fomenting war between Egypt and Israel. That is really the crucial issue…not who killed whom, but why certain people did certain actions.
Naturally, the diplomats will miss this – their whole desire will be just to paper over the cracks and essentially pretend that nothing happened. But something has happened…and it is a disturbing development in that Egypt may be in the process of breaking the peace treaty.
The best course of action right now is an assertive stance by Israel – a refusal to allow things to slowly disintegrate. Put the Egyptians on the spot – do they want peace, or do they want war? Either all attacks from Gaza cease, or not. That is the price of real peace between Egypt and Israel at this moment – anything less than that means war, even if conventional battles are put off for months or years.