JNN 15 Mar 2012 Cairo : The lower house of the Egyptian parliament has unanimously approved a text declaring that Israel is the number one enemy of Egypt and calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and a halt to gas exports to Israel.
On Monday, Egyptian MPs voted by a show of hands on the text of a report, which was compiled by the Arab Affairs Committee of the People’s Assembly (lower house of parliament), Press TV reported.
“Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity, which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation,” the report declared, adding, “It will deal with that entity as an enemy, and the Egyptian government is hereby called upon to review all its relations and accords with that enemy.”
The parliamentary report also called for the recall of Egypt’s ambassador in Israel and a revision of Egypt’s nuclear power policy in view of the widespread suspicion that Israel has a nuclear arsenal of its own.
Egyptian parliament was dissolved on February 11, 2011, following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in the revolution of 2011. Elections to the lower house, the People’s Assembly, took place between November 2011 and January 2012, followed by elections to the upper house, the Shura Council. Under Egypt’s temporary constitution, the People’s Assembly elected in these elections will have legislative powers and will be able to interpellate ministers. It will not, however, have the power to remove the government or prime minister, who are answerable primarily to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The Parliament will form a 100-member committee to draft a new constitution.
Monday’s vote by parliament could serve as an indication of what may lie ahead.
The Islamic parties, who dominate the 508-seat chamber, as well as the largely powerless upper house, would like to see the president’s wide executive powers curtailed in the country’s next constitution, while boosting those of the legislature.
In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but was compelled to agree to supply gas to Israel as one of the main economic conditions of the U.S.-sponsored peace deal.
According to the results of an opinion poll conducted by Synovate for Press TV and published on October 3, 2011, an overwhelming majority of Egyptians oppose the terms of the country’s gas deal with Israel.
In the poll, seventy-three percent of the respondents said they were opposed to gas exports to Israel. Only 9 percent said they approved of Egypt supplying gas to Israel, and 12 percent had no opinion.
The issue of supplying gas to Israel has always been a contentious topic for Egyptians, who view Israel as an enemy and oppose engaging in any form of business with it.
According to a $2.5 billion export deal with Tel Aviv, signed in 2005, Israel receives around 40 percent of its gas supply from Egypt at an extremely low price.