Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Palestinians expect a stronger Egypt to weaken Israeli hand

Palestinians are likely to benefit from a change of regime in Egypt, irrespective of whether they are in the camp of those seeking peace with Israel or those who advocate conflict, analysts said yesterday.
A more independent and assertive Egypt, reflecting popular opinion rather than US policy, will create pressure on Israel and Washington to make the compromises necessary for a long-overdue Middle East peace treaty, they said.
Whether they live in the occupied West Bank, whose leaders want a treaty with Israel, or in the blockaded Gaza Strip, whose leaders reject the Zionist state, Israel is the dominant factor overshadowing Palestinian lives.
West Bank and Gaza leaders have avoided speculating on the probable outcome in Egypt’s power struggle or its implications for Palestinians and the wider Arab world. But a few officials and political thinkers are ready to make predictions.
“The new situation in Egypt could lead to a change in world powers that upsets Israel and forces it to compromise. Egypt will get stronger,” said senior peace negotiator Nabil Shaath.


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