Risks for Israel in the Straits of Tiran

(Jerusalem Post) Zvi Mazel - Egypt will transfer the small islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Straits of Tiran to Saudi sovereignty. It was the closure of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli vessels that triggered the Six-Day War. Saudi Arabia is formally an enemy of the State of Israel. Until and unless a peace treaty is concluded between them, the situation remains volatile. Saudi Arabia is ruled by an Islamist family regime, based on Wahhabism, one of the most extremist schools of Islam, with a deeply rooted hatred of Israel. Moreover, a revolution in this authoritarian kingdom could happen. Egyptians have been taught from infancy that the islands belong to them. President Nasser proclaimed in 1957 and 1967 that the islands are "a hundred percent Egyptian." Ancient maps show that both islands were considered Egyptian for half a millennium. The agreement to transfer the islands to Saudi Arabia has led to angry protests and demonstrations in Egypt. Thus, their transfer leaves Israel in strategic limbo. The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt.

2016-04-18 00:00:00

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