With the death toll rising, there are renewed calls for a truce in the fighting in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. And Egypt is at the very heart of the mediation process.

Israel has accepted a ceasefire proposal from Cairo to halt its military offensive.

But Palestinians are divided. Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, rejected the initiative, while Palestinian President Mahmooud Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority lost control of Gaza to Hamas in 2007, sees merit in working with Egypt.

Abbas said: "At our request, our Egyptian brothers made an attempt. The purpose of this attempt was reaching a ceasefire agreement and moving on to further negotiations … Israel accepted this agreement, so we should accept it as well to weaken the Israeli side's position."

But Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi as a tyrant, adding: "Sisi himself is unjust as he led a coup".

There is no difference between him and other oppressors. Sisi closed corridors of food in the face of Hamas and closed passages for humanitarian aid.”

So is Egypt serious in trying to broker peace between Israel and Gaza, or does it have its own agenda?

Presenter: Mike Hanna


Samer Badawi - a Middle East analyst and contributor to the +972 Web magazine.

Mahmoud Hamad – an associate professor of international relations at Drake University, and author of the book 'Generals and Judges in the making of Modern Egypt'.

Nadim Shehadi - an associate fellow at Chatham House, where he directs a programme on the regional dimension of the Palestinian refugee issue in the Middle East.