During the intermittent rounds of fighting in the Gaza Strip since 2008, Cairo has served as an intermediary between the Hamas regime and Jerusalem, which naturally eschew direct contact with each other. Even under the pro-Hamas rule of Muhammad Morsi, and all the more so under the anti-Islamist rule of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt has been the sole power able to restrain the terrorist group somewhat. Eran Lerman argues that Israel benefits from having its southern neighbor in this position:
Egypt Plays a Crucial Role in Israel’s Efforts against Hamas
The Woman behind a Notorious Suicide Bombing Walks Free. Will America See That She Is Punished?
On August 9, 2001, Ahlam Tamimi and Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri traveled from the West Bank to Jerusalem, where Masri detonated himself in a Sbarro’s pizzeria, killing seven children and eight adults, and injuring scores. When the two passed through an Israeli checkpoint earlier that day, they appeared to be a young couple; had Masri been alone, police almost certainly would have stopped him and discovered the deadly bomb in his guitar case. Tamimi was arrested shortly thereafter and sentenced to life in prison. Ten years later, she was among the 1,027 Palestinian prisoners exchanged for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. She now resides in Jordan.