The ceasefire has put Egypt under the spotlight as well as Israel and Hamas.
Unlike the days when Mubarak’s dictatorship stood by the Israelis, the Muslim Brotherhood has links to the Islamist movement in Gaza.
But despite its sympathies for the hardline Palestinian group, the new government still needs to preserve Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel – and its ties with Washington, its main aid donor.
Announcing the ceasefire alongside his American counterpart, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr said:
“Egypt will continue its efforts to achieve its important goal which is to end the current state of Palestinian division and achieve reconciliation between the Palestinian people.”
The Americans have praised the Egyptians over the role they have played in the crisis. Hillary Clinton said President Mursi’s government was assuming “responsibility” and “leadership” in the region.
“Now we have to focus on reaching a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security, dignity, and legitimate aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis alike,” she added.
Egypt will monitor the tentative truce, knowing that previous ceasefires have eventually broken down – and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains painfully unresolved.