It isn't just Egypt lamenting the loss of U.S. military and financial aid: Israel fears a cutoff will hamper Egyptian efforts to quell jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula, where they threaten to destabilize the entire region.
The Obama administration's decision to withhold a significant amount of much-needed military equipment as well as some $260 million in aid to Egypt comes as the nation's interim government is locked in a bloody fight with heavily-armed Islamist militias in the Sinai Peninsula. If the jihadists mustering there can't be stopped, Israeli officials fear they could use the lawless territory to launch attacks not only on Cairo, but also on Israel.
“The situation in Sinai is deteriorating and is becoming of grave concern, not just for Israel, but first and foremost for Egypt, because violence in Sinai is infiltrating into mainland Egypt,” one Israel official told FoxNews.com. “It seems that jihadis are getting bolder every time, and with every action they pose a real threat to national security in Egypt, not to mention to security on the border, and potentially to Israel.”