(Mada Masr) website quoted an Egyptian government source who has been following the Palestinian file for years, saying that since Egypt intervened, the goal was a quick ceasefire, which was totally rejected by both Israel and the Hamas resistance movement at the beginning.
Conditions were placed before Egypt before talking about a ceasefire
As the two sides set complex conditions, for example, Hamas demanded that Israel withdraw from the judicial track on which the plan to evacuate “Sheikh Jarrah” was drawn up, including Israel’s request to release prisoners outside the context of any exchange process.
This prompted Egypt to coordinate with Qatar and Turkey, which the report indicated to him by saying that Egypt was able in the end with regional and international partners to reach a ceasefire agreement between the Palestinian resistance factions and the Israeli occupation, after an aggression that lasted 11 days.
As the two sides were exhausted, especially after Israel reached a dead end regarding targeting the leaders of the movement, while Hamas was already feeling progress after it made the refugee status of shelters more extensive in Israel, and thus its acceptance of a ceasefire came two days early from Israel.
Compared today to yesterday
According to the report (Mada Masr), the Egyptian effort to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and the sector that suffers from overcrowding, lack of resources and the collapse of services was not new to the Egyptian dealings with the situation in Gaza, this is precisely what Egypt did during the Israeli attacks on Gaza in The end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 during the rule of Hosni Mubarak, in 2012 during the rule of Mohamed Morsi, and in July 2014, one month after Sisi came to power.
However, the same government source admits that the Egyptian position in dealing with the Israeli aggression this time “really differs” from the official deal with a previous aggression that occurred in 2014. When Egypt had sought early to put pressure on Hamas to end the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel; Which used to see “Cairo” at the time as an unaccounted adventure and not a legitimate resistance, as is the case this time.
This time, the state newspapers highlighted what is happening as legitimate resistance to the Israeli aggression, and a number of daily newspapers also titled references to “Palestinian resistance missiles” in the face of “the Israeli occupation.”
The reasons, according to the same government source, relate to the realization by “Cairo” that world public opinion, including inside the United States of America, is now more sympathetic to what the Palestinians are exposed to in Gaza, and that the Egyptian political calculations, whether at the regional or internal level, are different.
A government source acknowledges this
The Egyptian government source acknowledges that the years of Egypt’s rapprochement with Israel were actually connected to a common regional vision of confronting the “armed fundamentalist movements that were spreading in the region, especially in the Sinai, where the strong Egyptian-Israeli relations managed to significantly raise the level of Egyptian armaments in Sinai to confront armed organizations such as ISIS. And Al Qaeda ”.
But with the signing of the “Abraham Accords” that refer to the peace agreement between the occupying power and the UAE and Bahrain under the auspices of the Trump administration in the fall of 2020, things changed and Western diplomats in “Cairo” talked about Israel’s happiness with its new and announced relations with “Abu Dhabi”, the former strong ally of Egypt, Which the two roads separated from the end of 2019 due to the dispute over conflict management in Libya.
Cairo feels that the UAE is working against it
According to two Egyptian government sources other than the first, “Cairo” feels that the UAE is working against it on more than one forum. There is, for example, its position in the Renaissance Dam, where it avoided pressure on Ethiopia in favor of Egypt, and chose to preserve its investments in the African country.
Another move that triggered “Cairo” is direct coordination with Israel, Cyprus and Greece regarding the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, without returning to Egypt in this regard, after Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, refused to join the UAE to the forum.
Read also: Israeli report: The UAE sets a condition to participate in the reconstruction of Gaza. These are the details
Egypt is also relying on a different role than the Emirates behind Mohammed Dahlan, the man with political ambition and contacts within the Fatah and Hamas movements, who is described regionally as the man of ambiguous tasks for “Abu Dhabi”.
This comes despite the fact that Cairo maintains open communication channels with Dahlan, although it does not consider him now among the potential allies of Abbas if the latter goes from the presidency of the Palestinian Authority.
Negotiations with Turkey and Qatar
For the previous reasons, Egypt decided to reformulate its relations with a number of parties, including Turkey, as it began normalization negotiations after a rupture that began in 2013 with the overthrow of the Brotherhood’s rule, which angered the Emirates, which regard Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as being a rival forever.
What is mentioned in this regard, according to the three government sources, the last ceasefire took place after multiple contacts with Doha, as well as with Ankara.
The other and important dimension of Egypt’s active role in the Palestinian issue relates to its being one of the most important issues in which Cairo cooperates positively with the new American Joe Biden administration in a way that can create a good dialogue space between Cairo and Washington, and in a way that contributes to overcoming controversial issues such as human rights and freedoms.
Reaching a ceasefire, according to Egyptian government sources, enabled Cairo to obtain praise from Biden, who was not planning to visit Cairo anytime soon, but decided to do so after Egypt was able to secure the ceasefire.
The Egyptian role in the Palestinian issue
The Egyptian plan, according to the three government sources, without a complete antagonism to the UAE, and without intending to obstruct cooperation with Israel or undo the progress that has occurred in the bilateral relationship over the past seven years, is to constantly strive not to lose the Egyptian role in the Palestinian issue.
In the context of this role, and according to the same sources, the security delegations and political contacts currently underway are preparing for a security agreement, with the aim of establishing a long-term armistice, which is not settled due to the internal situation in Israel and Netanyahu’s plans before the legislative elections this fall, which is the fifth in less than 18 years. A month.
Netanyahu, the most permanent politician in the seat of the Israeli prime minister, who has been in office continuously since 2009, faces an existential obstacle with his failure in the past four elections, to secure a parliamentary majority that allows the formation of the government, and coalition talks have failed several times in that as well.
Netanyahu relies on the elections as a lever to save his political future, as he will face the risk of legal accountability, including imprisonment on charges of financial and administrative corruption against him.
The first government source notes that the Egyptian move to restore international attention to the Palestinian issue began before Trump’s departure from the White House, when it sought with Jordan, France and Germany to create a new diplomatic platform, known as the “Munich Quartet”, to discuss the Palestinian issue and put forward ideas to revive the process. Politics, which was a prelude to the Biden administration’s showing interest in it, as the first months in office went beyond.
Internal discussions with Hamas
Parallel to the resumption of negotiations, according to the three government sources, “Cairo” is holding internal discussions with Hamas and the Authority about the reconstruction file. Even if “Cairo” is not able to ensure a speedy launch of a political process in cooperation with regional and international parties, it seeks to be a coordinator. Mainly in this file, in the context of a broader Egyptian interest recently in reconstruction operations, whether in Gaza, Iraq, Libya or Syria.
According to the sources, “Cairo” believes that its involvement in the reconstruction in Gaza can reassure Israel, which, according to the statements of the Israeli army minister, does not want Hamas to exploit the reconstruction movement to rebuild its capabilities. Therefore, Egypt seeks to provide Israel with adequate security guarantees so that it does not object to an international coordinated mechanism for the reconstruction of Gaza.
Egypt is also seeking, according to the three sources, to persuade Hamas, Jihad, and the rest of the factions to move towards restoring the factions ‘dialogue, despite Hamas’ strong reservations due to Abbas remaining in power.
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