Egypt Eyes Gaza Reconstruction To Boost Regional Clout
Sumaira FH 8 days ago Fri 11th June 2021 | 08:30 AM
Cairo, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 11th Jun, 2021 ) :Egypt is banking on a $500-million Gaza reconstruction project to shore up its influence in the middle East, capitalising on clout it garnered by brokering a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged the cash injection to rebuild the Gaza Strip after it was left in ruins during an 11-day Israeli air strikes.
The aid package is in the form of construction undertaken by Egyptian firms -- a playbook that Sisi has used to great effect domestically since taking power in 2014.
Sisi has employed the military's engineering arm for large-scale infrastructure projects such as the construction of a new administrative capital, as well as dozens of flyovers and highways nationwide.
"Sisi no doubt sees this reconstruction aid as an investment in exchange for political influence -- both on Egypt's border in Gaza and at the international level," Sarah Smierciak, a Middle East political economist, told AFP.
In a rare move, Cairo opened the crossing during intense fighting to allow wounded Palestinians to be treated in Egyptian hospitals.
"It (the reconstruction) is definitely a part of Egypt regaining its regional role," he added.