Egypt’s plan to end Israel-Hamas war faces skepticism and challenges

Egypt’s plan to end Israel-Hamas war faces skepticism and challenges

Egypt has proposed an ambitious plan to end the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, which has killed more than 8,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more in the Gaza Strip. The plan involves creating a transitional Palestinian government that would include Hamas and other factions, holding elections within a year, and rebuilding Gaza with international aid. However, the plan has received a cool reception from both Israel and Hamas, as well as from other regional and international actors, who have raised doubts about its feasibility and desirability.

Egypt’s role and interests in the conflict

Egypt has a key role to play in resolving the Israel-Hamas war, as it shares a border with Gaza and has historical and political ties with both sides. Egypt has also served as a mediator and interlocutor with Hamas in past crises, facilitating prisoner swaps and cease-fires. Egypt controls the Rafah crossing, the only official entry point into Gaza not controlled by Israel, which is a vital lifeline for getting humanitarian aid and evacuating civilians. Egypt also has an interest in preventing weapons and militants from entering Gaza through the network of tunnels that Hamas has built under the border.

Egypt’s proposal reflects its desire to restore its regional influence and leadership, which has been eroded by the 2011 uprisings and their aftermath, as well as by the economic and political challenges that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi faces at home. Egypt also wants to prevent further escalation and destabilization in the region, which could threaten its national security and interests.

Egypt’s plan to end Israel-Hamas war faces skepticism and challenges

Israel’s and Hamas’s reactions to the proposal

Israel and Hamas have given cool public receptions to Egypt’s proposal, but have not rejected it outright, leaving some room for diplomacy and negotiation. Israel has said that it will not accept any solution that does not ensure its security and the return of its hostages, who were taken by Hamas in a surprise attack on Oct. 7 that sparked the war. Israel has also expressed skepticism about the possibility of Hamas joining a Palestinian government and renouncing violence, as well as about the role and reliability of Egypt as a broker.

Hamas has said that it will not discuss any political issues until Israel stops its offensive and lifts the blockade on Gaza, which has been in place since 2007. Hamas has also demanded the release of its prisoners in Israeli jails, the reopening of the border crossings, and the reconstruction of Gaza with international support. Hamas has also questioned the legitimacy and representativeness of Egypt as a mediator, given its hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent movement of Hamas, and its crackdown on its supporters in Egypt.

The challenges and prospects of the proposal

Egypt’s proposal faces many challenges and obstacles, both internally and externally, that could undermine its chances of success. Some of the main challenges are:

  • The lack of trust and goodwill between Israel and Hamas, as well as between Hamas and other Palestinian factions, such as Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
  • The divergence of interests and agendas among the regional and international actors involved in the conflict, such as Iran, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations, who have different views and stakes in the outcome of the war and the future of Gaza.
  • The complexity and difficulty of implementing the proposal, which would require a series of steps and measures, such as securing a cease-fire, forming a transitional government, holding elections, rebuilding Gaza, and addressing the underlying issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such as the status of Jerusalem, the borders, the settlements, and the refugees.

Despite these challenges, Egypt’s proposal also offers some prospects and opportunities for ending the war and advancing the peace process. Some of the main prospects are:

  • The growing humanitarian and diplomatic pressure on both sides to stop the bloodshed and the suffering of the civilians, especially in Gaza, where the situation is dire and unsustainable.
  • The recognition of the need for a political and comprehensive solution to the conflict, rather than a military and partial one, which has proven to be ineffective and counterproductive in the past.
  • The willingness of some of the regional and international actors to support and cooperate with Egypt’s initiative, such as the United States, which has expressed its backing for the proposal and its readiness to provide assistance for Gaza’s reconstruction.

Egypt’s plan to end the Israel-Hamas war is a bold and ambitious attempt to break the cycle of violence and stalemate that has plagued the region for decades. However, it also faces many hurdles and uncertainties that could derail or delay its implementation. The fate of the proposal, and of the people of Gaza and Israel, depends on the political will and wisdom of the parties involved, as well as on the support and engagement of the international community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *