When the Egyptian army trucks recently rolled towards the Rafah border, they carried a message on the side: “A gift from the Egyptian people.”
Five hundred tonnes of aid were sent to the Gaza Strip on the orders of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as dozens of Palestinians from Gaza passed in the opposite direction for much-needed medical treatment in Egyptian hospitals.
For some, it looked like a reaffirmation of Egypt’s historic pan-Arabist commitment to the Palestinian cause. But amid Israel’s current military operation in Gaza, wrangling over a possible ceasefire deal and growing anti-Hamas sentiments back in Egypt, some have doubted that commitment.
Members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are scheduled to hold indirect talks in Cairo on Sunday to reach a ceasefire in Gaza, mediated by Egyptian and American negotiators. At least three representatives of the Palestinian factions were barred from entering Egypt through Rafah crossing on Saturday, while Israel has reportedly refused to negotiate directly with Hamas at the meetings in Cairo.