(London Telegraph) A senior Muslim Brotherhood official has said that Israel will cease to exist within a decade, the latest in a series of inflammatory comments by figures close to Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi.

Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, was trying to lay to rest a controversy over comments he made in an interview last week, in which he invited Egyptian-born Jews to return to the country.

In an interview with the Saudi-backed newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Mr Erian said that the “ideology of Zionism” had ended in failure and that “Palestine’s occupiers” should leave to make way for the return of Palestinians.

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