Hosni Mubarak assailed Israel’s foreign minister for criticizing Egypt’s handling of Gazan arms smuggling.
The Egyptian president said in an interview published Thursday that Tzipi Livni had jeopardized bilateral ties by telling a Knesset panel this week that Cairo’s security control of the Gaza border is “dismal.”
“It is very easy to sit in an office in Jerusalem and hand out grades on our performance in the field,” Mubarak told Yediot Achronot after hosting Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak for fence-mending talks.
“But it makes for a tense atmosphere, and our relationship with Israel is very important to me. Don’t ruin it,” Mubarak said. “Tzipi Livni crossed my red lines by running to the media to complain about us and give out grades instead of picking up the phone or sending an emissary.”
Mubarak denied Israeli allegations that large amounts of munitions reach Hamas-run Gaza from the Sinai, sometimes with the help of Egypt’s border police. He said that most of the arms flow into Gaza is “by way of the, from north and from south” but did not elaborate. Israel says it keeps its own border with Gaza, and the territory’s coastal waters, almost entirely sealed.