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March 12, 2014 8:25 pm
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It’s a Miracle, Says IDF General: Middle Eastern Hatred Towards Israel is Declining

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

Smuggling tunnel along Israel-Egypt border. Photo: wiki commons.

Israel Defense Forces Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Gilad said this week that a major geopolitical realignment is taking place in the Middle East, with countries that have traditionally displayed the greatest hostility towards Israel moderating their hard-line stance, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

“As far as I’m concerned, a miracle has occurred,” said Gilad, currently the Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at Israel’s Ministry of Defense.

Speaking recently at IDC Herzliya’s Institute for Policy and Strategy, Gilad noted that most of the dramatic changes of late have taken place in Egypt and Turkey.

Regarding the world’s most populous Arab country, with which Israel shares a border, Gilad said, “General [Abdel Fattah] Sisi has neutralized the Muslim Brotherhood and relations between Israel and Egypt are good.” Egypt has, “blocked off between 90 and 95 percent of the tunnels into Gaza and is conducting a war against al-Qaeda forces in Sinai,” the retired IDF general added.

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Despite the souring of relations between Jerusalem and Ankara over the last few years, Gilad maintains that in recent months the ruling regime in Turkey has been hobbled by a series of setbacks that have weakened Prime Minister Erdogan’s grip on power, Channel 2 said.

“He has been severely weakened and has thus returned to more proportionate dimensions,” Gilad explained.

Gilad’s outlook, while rosy, is not without significant potential landmines that Israel must take into account, Channel 2 said. He asserted that Iran remains determined to realize its nuclear ambitions, and the ongoing negotiations with world powers will not force Tehran to relinquish any critical aspect of its nuclear program.

Talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 countries will lead to, “cracks in the wall of sanctions” still in place against Iran, Gilad said.

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