Retired general turned security analyst and Junta spokesman Sameh Seif Al-Yazal told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that rumors about an Israeli military intervention in Egypt are “misguided,” because it was “not in Israel’s interest to fight Egypt at the present time, as the situation remained tense with its other neighbors.”
According to the WJS, General Al-Yazal has taken on the role of an informal spokesman for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which rarely speaks directly to the media.
Al-Yazal also told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that he supports Egypt’s reneging on its natural gas deal with Israel last April, said the pipelines should not be bombed “because a lot of the gas is being sent to Jordan and Lebanon as well.”
Over the weeks leading up to today’s and tomorrow’s first round of presidential elections, General Al-Yazal said the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is ready to surrender the helm to the winner, but with some non-negotiable conditions, including a requirement that the constitution protect the military budget from public scrutiny, and that future civilian presidents be obligated to get the consent of the military before waging war.
Al-Yazal ridiculed speculation that Egypt would “descend into chaos” if deposed President Hosni Mubaraq’s former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq wins, suggesting the military and the police would ensure voting is carried out safely.
El-Yazal pointed out that the SCAF did not endorse a specific candidate, including Shafiq, and if it wished to back a certain candidate, “it would have presented one of its own and made him wear a civilian suit.”