Egyptian political party rejects ‘normalization’ with Israel

A radical Islamist party in Egypt that said it would respect the country’s peace treaty with Israel has amended its statement to say it is against “normalization” between the two countries.

The Salafi Al-Nour party, which won up to 30 percent of the vote in the first two rounds of parliamentary elections in Egypt, reportedly said Sunday in a statement that the party will “stand firmly against normalization between the two countries in all forms, and are against ties with any entity that wants to harm the Egyptian identity.”

Last week, a spokesman for the party announced in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio that the party would respect all treaties signed by Egypt, including the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, though party leaders later clarified that the party is looking into the matter. The spokesman later told the Associated Press that he was not aware that he was talking to Army Radio.

He told the AP that the party supports changes to the peace agreement, including increasing the number of troops in the Sinai Peninsula, a number regulated by the treaty.

“We call for full Sinai rights for Egypt and for our brothers in Palestine and occupied lands, and we see this as directly related to the agreement,” he told the AP.

The Salafi Al-Nour party finished second behind the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party; the Muslim Brotherhood refuses to negotiate with Israel.