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Explaining Egypt’s Role During the Gaza War

Author: Khalil Al-Anani 

Affiliation: Arab Center Washington DC; Doha Institute for Graduate Studies

Organization/Publisher: Arab Center Washington DC

Date/Place: June 3, 2021/Washington DC, USA 

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 2003


Keywords: Gaza, Hamas, Biden, Egypt, Israel 


In this article, the author explains the actual reasons behind Egyptian intervention during the last Israeli war against Gaza, and its role in the ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel. Sisi’s role differed majorly compared to his previous position when it comes to Hamas especially. The Egyptian government for the first time criticized the Israeli violations against the Palestinians. During an urgent Arab League conference, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry made a forceful speech detailing breaches of Palestinian rights in Jerusalem as a result of Israeli aggression against Palestinians.  Furthermore, Shoukry stated that Egypt has requested that Israel cease behaviors that disrespect the sacredness of the Al-Aqsa Mosque or offend the Palestinians in any way, which came as a surprise as the Sisi government has not been supportive of Hamas. This is a significant change in the media when it comes to Hamas, as before Egypt used to attack them and regard them as terrorists but now the support of Gaza became more visible. Egypt has always served as a reconciler between Israelis and Palestinians. Egypt, with diplomatic links to both Israel and Hamas, is a crucial player in negotiating between Israel and Palestine. Regionally, geostrategic developments have occurred in recent months that have resulted in the shifting of state actors, especially Egypt. These events include the resolution of the political schism between Gulf governments. The geopolitical shifts have compelled Egypt to reorient itself regionally to safeguard its national interests. Egypt has pushed to reclaim its regional leadership in the Palestine problem, particularly after feeling the threat of other countries trying to take its place as traditional mediator. One of the main reasons for this intervention is that Egypt is attempting to get global backing for the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dilemma. The Sisi regime’s constant quest of pleasing the Biden Government is one major rationale for Egypt’s political efforts after the recent disagreements about human rights violations in Egypt. This worked in catching Biden’s attention and helped in the reconciliation of the relations between the two countries. In the most recent aggression by Israel against Hamas, Sisi emerged as the clear winner as he was able to rebrand himself as a crucial negotiator both locally and globally. 


By: Zeina Akif, CIGA Research Intern



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