Officials in Brussels promised Turkey £2.5billion and visa-free travel by June if it clamps down on the number of migrants making their way into Europe through its borders.
As EU bureaucrats continue to thrash out a deal, Tom Wilson, a Fellow at the Centre for the New Middle East at The Henry Jackson Society, says Brussels is oblivious to Israel’s efforts to stop illegal migration from Africa.
Mr Wilson said: “For now, at least, and for an extortionately high price, Turkey’s co-operation seems to have been bought.
“But while Europe is being blackmailed into offering a whole host of concessions to Turkey, there is another country that has done a great deal to prevent the flow of illegal migration towards Europe, whose role is widely ignored.
“For some years now Israel has been serving as a buffer preventing illegal migration that would potentially flow towards Europe. [...]
Islamic State (ISIS) is also thought to be a threat in the Sinai peninsular with Egypt and Israel working together to stop the region becoming a stronghold for the Islamist militants.
The Foreign Office currently advises Britons against travelling to North Sinai as Egyptian armed forces conduct military operations against extremist groups in the area.
Mr Wilson said: “The Sinai had become a particularly lawless and ungoverned space, with Salafist militants in the area that have more recently aligned themselves with Islamic State. But this move also shut off the path of illegal migrants.
“Israel acts as a natural buffer between the African continent and the Middle East, as well as to the West more generally.
“Without this, the way would be left open for those coming north to pass through Israel to join the throngs that have been attempting to make their way to Western Europe through Greece and the Balkans.”
Mr Wilson added that while “Turkey is rewarded for threatening Europe with a flood of migrants, Israel’s role in blocking illegal migration has gone unacknowledged.”