The news of the upcoming release
of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak came as no surprise to his good friend Knesset Member Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. Ben-Eliezer said that Egyptians have missed the deposed ruler: "I think the discharge was to be expected. We've been hearing a longing for Mubarak from the people of Egypt for a long time. These are the sounds of the Egyptian street," he said in an interview to Ynet.
High Court ruled that there is no longer liable cause to hold Mubarak under arrest. It may be that Mubarak, who was sentenced to life in prison, will be released as early as Thursday. Egypt's prosecuters have already announced they have no intention to appeal.
"I have no doubt that amid what is happening in Egypt, Mubarak's contribution to the country will become even more meaningful," Ben-Eliezer
said. The MK said that Egypt had a chance to see what happened in the period of deposed President Mohamed Morsi's short reign: "Egypt has turned from an army dictatorship to an Islamist dictatorship," he said. "It's enough to look at the awful event where 25 soldiers were executed
in Sinai to understand the horrible internal struggle happening in Egypt, which is fighting for its place and status in the world."
Mubarak and Ben-Eliezer in 2006 (Photo: EPA)
Ben-Eliezer said that he acknowledges Mubarak's errors, but that his great contribution to stability in the area cannot be ignored. "Mubarak is not an innocent man, but he contributed greatly to stability in the Middle East and in the West in general. He loves his people," Ben-Eliezer said.
The labor MK also said it's too soon to tell if Mubarak's release will impact the Egyptian street: "We're surprised every day," he said. "The main interest of the Egyptian people, beyond the riots
is their quality of life. To make a living, have a roof to sleep under. The situation
is dynamic and there are constant twists. I think the Egyptian people understand they had time to try someone else. I assume his discharge will bring a great deal of pleasure to many."
Riots in Egypt. 'There is a longing for Mubarak' (Photo: AFP)
Speaking with reporters, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also addressed the situation in Egypt and the fatal incident in Sinai. "There is a massive preparation on our side along the border just in case. We hope the Egyptian treatment will be effective and prevent any terrorist activity against Israel. The hottest border of Israel today is with Sinai."
"We're also not forgetting the Iranian
threat, and Iran is feeding conflicts in the region. A nuclear Iran remains the number one threat to the stability of the region and the world, with a potential to directly impact Israel," he said.
Yoav Zitun also contributed to this article
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