President al-Sisi faces tough challenges in Gaza

World Today

President al-Sisi faces tough challenges in Gaza

Egypt has been a major player in helping broker peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict in the past. But can newly-elected President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi exert similar influence in the latest crisis? Correspondent Adel EL Mahrouky reports.

Egypt’s presidential office said al-Sisi made only two telephone calls regarding the recent developments in Gaza.

President al-Sisi faces tough challenges in Gaza

President al-Sisi faces tough challenges in Gaza

Egypt has been a major player in helping broker peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict in the past. However, can newly elected President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi exert similar influence in the latest crisis? Correspondent Adel EL Mahrouky reports.

It was stressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas the need to halt all military operations to avoid a “vicious cycle of violence” that would claim more lives.

However, al-Sisi might not be as effective as ousted President Mohamed Morsi in that regard, given that the Gaza Strip is under Hamas’s control, an offshoot of the Muslim brotherhood which al-Sisi has declared total war against.

Morsi felt comfortable to send his Prime Minister to the area during the 2012 Israeli strike to open the Rafah passage for humanitarian aid.

Influence over Gaza is just one factor al-Sisi needs in order to reach a ceasefire. The fighting has elicited cautious reaction from Egyptians.

Political parties have restricted their response to press statements condemning the strikes. Others called for a protest on Thursday to support Palestine, but only a dozen showed up.

Many challenges lie ahead of President al-Sisi to have a significant role in resolving the Israeli offensive on Gaza. It has become the first challenge to test his skills in international politics.