Israel and the West must support Egypt’s army to regain control of the country and prevent jihadists from taking over, an Israeli official told a local newspaper in remarks published late-Sunday.
The unnamed official’s comments came a day after a New York Times report said that Israel would press the United States and European Union to support the military in unrest-swept Egypt.
“The name of the game right now is not democracy,” the Jerusalem Post quoted the official as saying. “The name of the game is that there needs to be a functioning state.”
“You can scold [Gen. Abdel Fattah el-] Sisi all you wish, but at the end of the day, you want a functional government to rule the country,” he added.
Over 800 people have been killed in Egypt since Wednesday when the military launched a massive crackdown on Islamist supporters of deposed president Mohammed Mursi.
US President Barack Obama last week cancelled joint military exercises following the deaths.
But Washington has not suspended military aid to Egypt, a key Middle East ally which maintains warm relations with Israel.
The US administration has refused to call Mursi’s overthrow a “coup,” which would legally require it to cut off aid, saying it hoped to steer the country towards a democratic transition.
The bloodshed in Egypt has drawn widespread international condemnation, with senior European Union diplomats holding emergency talks on Monday to discuss future EU action.