A publication that appeared in the August 4, 1997 edition of the Saudi
in London, stated that Egypt claims land in the Israeli Negev desert,
allowing it to create
sovereign territorial continuity with Jordan in the Eilat area. This claim
possibility that Egypt decided to reinstitute on the agenda their old demand
for this type
of territorial continuity.
The quest for Arabic territorial continuity – or in its alternate name, the
question of the
Negev Wedge in the Arab-Israeli conflict – existed first and foremost in
virtue of the
geopolitical potential embedded in the Negev that allows it to be designated
as a dividing
wedge between the Arab states in Northern Africa and those in Asia. This
implemented in the UN partition plan on November 29, 1947, according to
which it was
determined the part of the Negev designated for the Jewish state, would
reach the Gulf of Eilat.
Arab resistance to Eilat’s seizure and the Israeli implementation of its
right to that area
in accordance with the UN partition plan, was very weak in the beginning but
completely changed with the rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser to power in Egypt.
Nasserism and mainly the Pan-Arab component of this political doctrine, saw
control in the Negev and mainly in its southern area as a disaster for
Egypt, since it
blocks the creation of Arab sovereign territorial continuity between Egypt
and Jordan, in
other words between Egypt and the Arab states in Asia.
The Nasserism, with its high priest Muhammad Heikal, realized that creating a
unity between Egypt and other Arab states in Asia is vital to Egypt’s
existence. Thus, in
the years 1954-1956, Egypt attempted to achieve an Israeli withdrawal from
Negev, with the Egyptian leadership defining this as the primary condition
to the peace
agreement in the area.
At the end of 1954, Britain and the US initiated a coordinated joint effort
to settle the
Arab-Israeli conflict, which continued until the start of 1956, as part of a
global effort to
solve conflicts that might serve the Soviet penetration and expansion
cornerstone in the secret plan was applying massive American pressure on
relinquish territories in the Negev, allowing the creation of Arabic
between Egypt and Jordan. What stopped these Anglo-American attempts to
settlement in the area was the rapid shifting of Egypt in the direction of
the Soviet Union
and the strengthening of Nasser’s position as one of the leaders of the
The Suez-Sinai War in October-November 1956, and in its wake, the Eisenhower
doctrine, created a new reality in the area, based on the isolation of
Egypt, that was
under Soviet influence, from other Arab countries. The Negev Wedge then
a load on the United States to a strategic asset and a shield from Egypt,
mainly for the
Arab oil states. The Egyptian efforts to bypass the Israeli Wedge, which
mainly in the deep Egyptian involvement in the Yemen war, brought on an
American-Egyptian-Soviet confrontation, a confrontation that reached its
peak at the end
of 1966 and the beginning of 1967.
Nasser’s announcement on the closing of the Straits for Israeli navigation
delivered on May 22, 1967, neutralized the main and possibly the only single
achievement in the Suez-Sinai War. This move, together with the preparation
military option to conquer the southern Negev as Egypt’s primary military
interconnected. Today it is possible to evaluate that the Egyptian effort to
Israeli Wedge in the southern Negev was one of the main reasons for the
outbreak of the
Six Day War.
Even after the devastating Egyptian loss in the Six Day War, Egypt did not
aspiration to territorial continuity. After Nasser’s death, Muhammad Heikal
view this target as one of its most important goals.
The Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement supposedly ended the Egyptian demand
southern Negev. Thus a section was included in the Israeli-Egyptian peace
that allowed Egypt to pave a road – which remains in Israeli sovereignty – that will
connect between Egypt and Jordan and will pass through the southern Negev.
that Egypt refused and continues to refuse till today to implement this
expresses the true position, whereby it is still not satisfied with the
The publication in Al-Wasat and Egypt’s massive military build-up
with American arms
raises the possibility that, given a suitable opportunity, Egypt will
implement part of its
military backup plan by selecting territorial targets inside Israeli areas.