Egypt-Israel relations are "a cornerstone in Israel's national security," said Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's Security-Diplomatic Bureau, at a ceremony marking 30 years to Israel's peace agreement with Egypt on Thursday.
"We have very profound dialogue with them. It's important for Israel to know how to preserve these relations and deepen them," he said, while mentioning Egypt's "tolerant stance during the IDF's recent military offensive in Gaza."
According to Gilad, "Hamastan is viewed by the Egyptians as a substantial threat to its national security."
"I think Hamas erred in allowing its men to cross into Egypt and remain in Sinai for two weeks. All of the Arab TV networks broadcasted the Egyptian humiliation. Cairo took the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future," he said.
Addressing the negotiations between rival factions Hamas and Fatah on the establishment of a unity government, the senior defense official said he believed such a government would in fact be forged "in defiance of the Quartet's demands, among them the recognition of Israel.
"If I understand the situation correctly, Egypt is in favor of a unity government, but not if it has a negative effect on (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas' status."
During the ceremony Gilad also said Egypt was Israel's "partner" in the struggle against Iran's nuclear program, adding that President Hosni Mubarak has made it clear that Cairo would not accept a nuclear Iran.