News You Really Need To See: “Egypt Silent as Neighbors Wage Battles”

“Egypt Silent as Neighbors Wage Battles”

The New York Times, July 10, 2014, p.A8

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/10/world/middleeast/egypt-silent-as-neighbors-wage-battles.html?_r=0

Again and again over decades, Egypt has leapt in to play the role of mediator during hostilities between the Palestinians and the Israelis, including the time two years ago when Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi, helped broker a cease-fire after eight days of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip.  But in the latest battle, the Egyptians appear to be barely lifting a finger, leaving the combatants without a go-between as the Palestinian death toll mounts.  Officials with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement in Gaza, said on Wednesday they had seen almost no sign of an Egyptian effort to defuse the crisis, in sharp contrast to previous conflicts under Mr. Morsi and President Hosni Mubarak.  Making matters worse, according to Palestinian officials, Egypt continued to keep its side of the border all but sealed on Wednesday, barring even humanitarian aid. … Instead, the Egyptians appeared to be biding their time and angling for concessions in exchange for any mediating role, he said, including from the United States, which held back some military aid from Egypt after the overthrow of Mr. Morsi.”

Quickie Analysis:  The current Egyptian government is no friend of Hamas, which it sees as an ally of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, but refusing to step in to ameliorate the situation is a dangerous game to play: memories are long and conflicts bleed.

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