Israel security adviser says West should ease up on Egypt human rights demands
An Israeli security aide reportedly told university officials the West should dial back its demands of Egypt over its human rights record on Tuesday.
Eyal Hulata, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's national security adviser, made the remark as he addressed Tel Aviv University's board of governors, according to one source who was present.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's cabinet features more women than lots of democratic countries, news website Axios reported Hulata as saying.
"And he is still being attacked for being abusive to his people and on issues of civil rights," Hulata added.
It comes as a US State Department report last month concluded Cairo or those acting on its behalf are responsible for serious rights violations.
These include torture, unlawful killings, and breaches of the right to peaceful assembly.
Earlier this year, Washington withheld $130 million in security-related aid to the North African state over its human rights abuses.
Despite this, the US and its chief Middle Eastern ally Israel consider their strong ties with Egypt to be vital for security reasons.
Cairo and Tel Aviv together maintain a crushing blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, causing great civilian suffering.
Meanwhile, Israel – which commits its own grave rights violations – believes maintaining its strong ties with Egypt to be of greater concern than the abuses occurring there.