( Kids in Gaza celebrate the ceasefire agreement, via Twitter)
I wrote this piece for Al-Monitor, warning that in the future a failed Gaza can easily end its existence as an autonomous entity, and snooker Egypt into a very tricky corner.
After seven weeks of confrontations in the Gaza Strip, a cease-fire has been reached. The details are still sketchy, and needless to say, it is still too early to judge if this truce will last. However, regardless of the durability of the new deal and its implications for Israel, it’s safe to say that a new reality may unfold in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority (PA) could return to the Gaza Strip, at least to run the Rafah border with Egypt. While this seems a benign move, it is not; it could open the door to a new scenario that was previously considered far-fetched — an indirect Egyptian involvement in the governance of Gaza.
First, it’s important to note that Egypt does not want to control Gaza. It only wants to contain its own problems and shield the Sinai Peninsula and the Rafah border from infiltration by radical militants from Gaza. Recently, Egypt has stepped up its operations to destroy most of the tunnels that Hamas and other groups have built underneath the Rafah border. Inevitably, however, tunnel destruction has aggravated an already shaky relationship between Egypt and Hamas, especially after the ousting of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian army.
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