Protests occur in several districts of the capital Cairo after the opposition called for a week of demonstrations under the cover name Eid of Martyrs. Egypt’s stance towards Hamas is an issue that has divided opinion and one that the opposition will seek to exploit.
The relationship between Hamas and Egypt has changed since Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power in July 2013. Under his tenure, Hamas was able to count on the political support of the Egyptian government in a relationship built on shared political ideals and respect. After his fall from power, current president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi ordered a crackdown of the Muslim Brotherhood at home and assumed a harsh stance towards Hamas by calling the group, formerly a branch of the Brotherhood in Gaza, a threat to national security. In order to promote stability in the Sinai, Egypt has closed the border crossing at Raffah, thereby ensuring an economic blockade of Gaza, and has destroyed Hamas built tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai.
While continuing to reject the Muslim Brotherhood across the region, Saudi Arabia takes a much more cordial approach to Hamas and issues stark criticisms of the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
Terrorism and Insurgencies
The Islamic State (IS) attacks Syrian regime positions in three provinces, marking perhaps an intensification of fighting between the IS and regime forces.
Fouad Massoum’s selection as the president of Iraq fulfils Kurdistan’s political obligations towards Baghdad. But delays in the selection process exposes underlying divisions amongst Kurdish political groups.