Egypt To Palestinians-It’s Your Problem, Not Ours!

Egyptian officials have played a key role in brokering the current cease fire between Hamas and Israel although they have little doubt the truce may unravel in the coming weeks. They believe a key factor in achieving any permanent resolution of problems in the dispute with Israel centers around the ability of Hamas and Fatah to end their dispute and present a united front. It is expected there will be a prisoner swap in the coming weeks which would result in return of a captured Israeli soldier, but some Egyptian officials fear achieving that goal might worsen rather than assist further efforts to maintain the true. Once Israel has the soldier, there is less incentive to maintain the truce agreement.

Hamas leaders and many Gazans want Egypt to unilaterally open the Rafah crossings but President Mubarak refuses to take such a step. He fears Egyptian assumption of such power would lead Israel to simply wash its hands of the entire Gaza situation and leave Egypt with the problem of supplying electricity and other needs to Gazans. This is not a burden the economically stressed nation of Egypt seeks to acquire.

In the end, Egyptian officials insist Fatah and Hamas have to get together and work in a cooperative approach to restrain militants who want to destroy any effort at resolving problems with Israel. The feeling in Cairo is– it’s your problem, not ours.