Risks and Realities of the Egyptian-Israeli Alliance Against Hamas

Risks and Realities of the Egyptian-Israeli Alliance Against Hamas
Palestinian boys, holding Hamas flags, stand on the rubble of Aisha mosque destroyed in an Israeli strike, Gaza City, Aug. 11, 2014 (AP photo by Hatem Moussa).

With another ceasefire set to expire, Israeli and Palestinian diplomats are once more in Cairo for Egyptian-brokered talks to end the fighting in Gaza. Egypt is hardly a neutral mediator: President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s hostility toward the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot, Hamas, is no secret; neither, for that matter, is Egypt’s close security relationship with Israel, firmly established under ousted President Hosni Mubarak. But the inner workings of that relationship are rarely exposed.

That made the Wall Street Journal’s reporting last week of Israel’s close coordination withel-Sissi during its military assault on Gaza all the more revealing. The month-long conflict has so far killed 1,948 Palestinians, according to the United Nations, over two-thirds of them civilians. Sixty-four members of the Israel Defense Forces have died, as well as two Israeli civilians.

The backchannels between Cairo and Tel Aviv have been busy. “Reflecting Egypt's importance,” the Journal reported, senior Israeli officials “took Mr. Sisi's ‘temperature’ every day during the war to make sure he was comfortable with the military operation as it intensified. Israeli officials knew television pictures of dead Palestinians would at some point bring Cairo to urge Israel to stop.”

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.