Whatever longer-term arrangement ultimately emerges from the latest war between Israel and Hamas will carry implications well beyond the small strip of territory along the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Which parties end up determining and implementing such an arrangement — and in particular the balance of influence therein between Egypt, which has made noises of wanting to play an active role in Gaza's reconstruction, and Qatar, which remains Hamas's prime benefactor — will likely affect the broader regional balance of power between the pragmatic and MB camps (the latter which has recently been flirting with Iran). And to the extent Hamas can demonstrate gains, especially with reference to Jerusalem, the regional array of actors sympathetic to political Islam will also likely gain. By contrast, if Israel manages to strengthen the PA with the help of its newfound allies in Abu Dhabi, Manama, and Rabat alongside older ones in Cairo and Amman — all of whom share an interest in preventing Hamas from emerging emboldened from the war but all of whom have thus far failed to provide the PA the kind of support Hamas has enjoyed from its regional backers — the pragmatic camp will have staved off a serious challenge. Likewise, the survival of the normalization agreements with the UAE, Morocco, Bahrain, and Sudan will represent a significant boost for this bloc. The latest round of fighting in Gaza may have come to an end, but the broader regional struggle over the shape of the Middle East will continue for the long term.
Sarah Feuer is a fellow at Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and the Rosenbloom Family Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. She lives in Tel Aviv. Follow her at @sjfeuer.