Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the recent revolutions in the Arab world have put pressure on Israel’s security and defense efforts.
Addressing the 38th Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (19-23 February) in Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu said the Arab revolutions will curb efforts in reaching an agreement with Palestinians.
The Israeli premier urged economic development for Israel so that the growing defense needs of Tel Aviv are covered. "What we have seen is such a huge transformation in our region that we know we will have to spend a lot more to defend ourselves," he went on to say.
The collapse of the former Egyptian government and the overthrow of its ruler Hosni Mubarak have caused Israel to fear losing a key ally, which cooperated with Tel Aviv in suppressing the Palestinian people.
Under the US-backed Mubarak regime, Egypt was accused of consistently serving Israeli interests and objectives by helping to impose the crippling blockade on the impoverished Gaza Strip after the democratically-elected Hamas took control of the territory in 2007.
Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.