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Israel arrives at a tough diplomatic intersection

Israel's crises with key regional partners Egypt and Turkey could pressure the Jewish state to make a renewed push for peace with the Palestinians.

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Israel is expected to exercise "maximum restraint" as it faces a trio of regional challenges that threaten to further deepen its isolation, already more acute than the Jewish state has seen in decades.

The sharp deterioration in ties with key partners Egypt and Turkey in recent days could pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to shift its approach to regional challenges – most immediately, the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations next week.

"[The crises with Egypt and Turkey] will strengthen the parts of Netanyahu that will want a low-key response," says a former Israeli negotiator. "We’re on the verge of a major deterioration of Israel’s strategic position."

On Friday night, an Egyptian mob broke into the Israeli embassy in Cairo, prompting a commando operation to evacuate the ambassador and his staff. Just two days before, Turkey cut military trade ties with Israel for its refusal to apologize for the killing of passengers last year in clashes aboard a ship that challenged a naval blockade of Gaza.

Higher stakes for Israel's response


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