Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Egypt’s isolation in Gaza (via Al-Monitor)

Mohannad Sabry argues that the Egyptian government’s diplomacy in the Gaza war falls short of previous mediation efforts and is “another phase of Egypt's growing political isolation since the war kicked off in Gaza.”
Sabry writes: “Egypt's manipulation of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip was politically cunning since Hamas' bloody takeover in 2007, and despite a few disruptive incidents, the situation has always been under control until 2013 when Egypt's military masterminds decided that neither Hamas nor its mother organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, are viable players. This war has clearly shown Hamas, Egypt and the world that Hamas is not the only player, neither are they the most popular in Gaza any longer — they are one voice among several powerful, popular and active others.”
Egypt seems to be coordinating its military operations with Israel against terrorist groups in the Sinai Peninsula. AnAl-Monitor correspondent reports on eyewitness accounts that suggest Israel was responsible for an armed drone attack against militants on July 23, although the Egyptian military took credit for the operation.
Bruce Riedel argues that Saudi Arabia’s priority in the Gaza war is to support its ally, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in his efforts to humiliate Hamas.
The kingdom’s Egypt-first strategy is complicated by King Abdullah’s deep personal commitment to the Palestinian cause and the admiration of many young Saudis for Hamas.
Riedel writes: “Abdullah and the other royal princes in Saudi Arabia are well aware that many Saudis, especially young people, admire Hamas for fighting against Israel. The royals are not eager to appear soft on Israel especially when gruesome images of dead children are appearing every night on Arab television.”