Tantawi asserts defense capabilities of army in shadow of gas decision

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling military council, said that the army would continue to protect Egypt’s “threatened” borders, especially the north-east border.

Tantawi's statement came after the decision to stop gas exports to Israel, and the reaction of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said Egypt’s unilateral decision does not bode well.

Watching the main phase of the “Victory 7” maneuver in the Sinai, Tantawi said: “We defend our territory and do not attack anyone. But whoever comes close to our borders, we will break his legs.”

“The armed forces are strong against our enemies from abroad and those who try to tamper with the destiny of this great nation from within,” he added.

Parliament had praised the decision to stop the gas exports, and rejected threats by senior Israeli officials responding to the decision.

Parliament Speaker Saad al-Katatny said that Parliament would never accept threats or warnings. He explained that the decision was based on legal grounds, as the intermediary that exports the gas failed to make payments.

“We shall not go back on this historic decision, a tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for this historic day,” he said. “We pledge to defend our rights and remain faithful to our noble mission.”

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