Both Israel and Palestinian Authority officials fear the empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt might prompt Cairo to ease access to Gaza, and help Hamas consolidate its rule there.
Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor
Egypt has the keys to Gaza's only border not controlled by Israel. That leaves President Mubarak's successor, whoever it may be, with the option to open up the stifled territory of 1.5 million to trade and civilian traffic, or to continue the restrictions that weigh on the economy and the Islamic militant government there.
While the first option would win Egypt popularity with the Arab public throughout the Middle East and boost Hamas, it would signal a break in Israel's critical alliance with Cairo. It could also tip the scales in favor of Hamas in the three-year rift between Hamas and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.