An explosion of the Egypt to Israel natural gas pipeline during July 2011. The pipeline has been repeatedly sabotaged in recent months., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Egypt's parliament wants Israeli ambassador out
Cairo's Islamist-dominated House passes symbolic vote on expulsion of Israeli envoy, nulling gas deal
Associated Press Published: 03.13.12, 09:43 / Israel News
Egypt's Islamist-dominated parliament unanimously voted on Monday in support of expelling Israel's ambassador in Cairo and halting gas exports to Israel.
The motion is largely symbolic, because only the ruling Military Council can make such decisions, and it is not likely to impact Egypt's relations with Israel.
The decision does, however, signal the seismic change in Egypt after the ouster of longtime leader and Israel ally Hosni Mubarak.
The vote was taken by a show of hands on a report by the chamber's Arab affairs committee that declared Egypt will "never" be a friend, partner or ally of Israel.
The report described Israel as the nation’s "number one enemy" and endorsed what it called Palestinian resistance "in all its kinds and forms" against Israel's "aggressive policies."
There was no immediate comment from Israel on the vote by the People’s Assembly, the Egyptian parliament's lower house.
The parliamentary report also called for the recall of Egypt's ambassador in Israel and a revision of Egypt's nuclear power policy in view of the widespread suspicion that Israel has a nuclear arsenal of its own.
"Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity (Israel), which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation.
"It will deal with that entity as an enemy, and the Egyptian government is hereby called upon to review all its relations and accords with that enemy," the report said.
The Islamists dominate the 508-seat chamber, as well as the largely powerless upper house, would like to see the president's wide executive powers curtailed in the country's next constitution, while boosting those of the legislature.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which controls just under half of the seats in the powerful People’s Assembly, wants a president with an Islamist background.
Roi Kais contributed to this report.