Israeli leaders are struggling to contain an escalating diplomatic crisis on multiple fronts amid mounting concern that both Egypt and Turkey, the countryís two most important allies in the Muslim world, are slipping from its grasp.
Following scenes of violence and mayhem on the streets of Cairo, Israel was forced to evacuate its ambassador and almost the entire diplomatic staff from the embassy in the Egyptian capital in the early hours of Saturday. The dramatic move followed the storming of the embassy premises by a group of violent protesters on Friday night.
Israeli officials worry that tensions with Turkey and Egypt will be exposed once again when Mr Erdogan arrives in Cairo for a high-profile visit on Monday.
Turkish officials have in recent days talked down the prospect of a visit by Mr Erdogan to the Islamist-controlled Gaza Strip, a trip that would have infuriated the Israeli government. But many analysts say that Mr Erdoganís visit Ė with or without the Gaza leg Ė will put pressure on Egyptís military government to harden its own line.
ďIf an important non-Arab Muslim majority country is taking a stand, kicking out the Israeli ambassador and saying it is going to be challenging the Gaza blockade and Israelís behaviour on the open seas, there is pressure on the new governments, particularly in Egypt, also to take a tough stand,Ē said Bulent Aliriza at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.