Egypt has urged Israeli leaders to cease making provocative statements to Lebanon and using the threat of war in order to bring about changes in Lebanese policies. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit,on a visit to Beirut, said: “we spoke with the Israelis during Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s visit to Egypt, and asked them to stop thinking about threatening this friendly Arab country.” His comments came in response to a recent statement by Environment Minister Gideon Ezra who said on Wednesday, “the moment the Lebanese government confers legitimacy on Hezbollah, it must understand that the entire Lebanese state will be a target in the same way that all of Israel is a target for Hezbollah.”
Hezbollah continues making threats about destroying Israel which only serve to aid war hawks in the Israel government. Unfortunately, the Egyptian government does not have sufficient leverage over Hezbollah to persuade its leaders to tone down the rhetoric of war. This leaves Israel in the position of being calm and now allowing threats to result in counter threats.