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Why Egypt is lending its support to the Palestinians

Egypt's support for the Palestinians in the latest conflict — in which Cairo helped broker a cease-fire — has drawn attention among observers who see it as a policy shift.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks during a press conference with French President following their meeting at the Elysee presidential Palace on Dec. 7, 2020 in Paris, as part of al-Sisi's three-day controversial state visit to France, with activists warning Paris not to turn a blind eye to Cairo's rights record with a red carpet welcome.

Egypt has successfully brokered a cease-fire between Israel and  Hamas, effectively ending 11 days of hostilities that have killed hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza strip and 12 Israelis. The truce was announced May 20 by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said his security Cabinet had agreed to accept the Egyptian initiative for a bilateral unconditional cease-fire. 

Egypt had earlier joined other Arab countries in condemning Israel's latest assaults on Gaza and in calling for support of the Palestinians. The rare rebuke of Israel by Egypt has drawn attention given Cairo's warming of ties with Tel Aviv in recent years and the fact that the Egyptian authorities had perceived Hamas, the Islamist group ruling Gaza, as a branch of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

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