Ismail Haniya, and U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, while sending security officials to try to mediate between Israel and Hamas, has himself said little about current events.

However, his foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, told Arab colleagues at an urgent Arab League meeting that “the way that Arabs — on the popular and official levels — are intent on following what is happening in Jerusalem is the greatest message that affirms Palestine has been and will always be the central Arab cause.”

The Arab League is also pressing for an emergency debate in the U.N. Security Council, which the United States put off until at least Sunday. The Arab League needs to keep in front of the debate on Jerusalem, the analysts agree, and not cede the field to Hamas.

“This time the struggle is not only about Gaza but about Jerusalem and Al Aqsa and Muslims are committed to their defense,’’ Mr. Winter said. “Hamas has done a good job in its messaging strategy, and Arab countries must deal with this interpretation.’’

Egypt’s government is also worried, as are many in Israel, that destroying Hamas might open the door to even more radical actors in Gaza. But Egypt and other Arab countries, even if they repress internal protests and dissent, must align themselves in some fashion with public opinion, even if they fear that protests against Israel might quickly turn into protests against themselves.

For the Arab countries that recently recognized Israel, the confrontation is an embarrassment and a dilemma because it tests their influence, or lack of it, on Israel, analysts said.

The diplomatic recognitions were “supposed to give them leverage, and one of their arguments was that Israel won’t want to disrupt these new relations with the Arab world and so will hold back on things like settlements and Gaza,’’ said Mr. Elgindy of the Middle East Institute.

In fact, he said, “I believe the opposite — the Israelis now have more cover.’’

While these countries are unlikely to sever their new ties with Israel because of the economic and technological benefits, it will be more difficult for Morocco and Sudan, where there are more open displays of public opinion.

Qatar and Turkey are among the most prominent defenders of Hamas. Qatar owns the powerful Al Jazeera network, which is giving full coverage to the Palestinian and Hamas side of the story.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has long been a fervent critic of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians, especially in Gaza. On Friday, in predictably harsh terms, he vowed that Turkey would not stay silent and accept the persecution of Palestinians.

“By attacking the sacred site of all three religions, the terrorist state of Israel has crossed all boundaries,” Mr. Erdogan said, addressing his ruling party. “If we don’t stop the attacks now, everyone will become targets of this savage mentality.”

Hwaida Saad contributed reporting from Beirut, Carlotta Gall from Istanbul, Rana Sweis from Amman, Jordan, and Nada Rashwan from Cairo.

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Egyptology Is Having a Big Moment. But Will Tourists Come?

CAIRO — On a cool morning last November, Egypt’s tourism and antiquities minister stood in a packed tent at the vast necropolis of Saqqara just outside Cairo to reveal the ancient site’s largest archaeological discovery of the year.

The giant trove included 100 wooden coffins — some containing mummies interred over 2,500 years ago — 40 statues, amulets, canopic jars and funerary masks. The minister, Khaled el-Enany, said the latest findings hinted at the great potential of the ancient site and showcased the dedication of the all-Egyptian team that unearthed the gilded artifacts.

But he also singled out another reason the archaeological discoveries were crucial: it was a boon for tourism, which had been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

unearthed an ancient Pharaonic city near the southern city of Luxor that dated back more than 3,400 years.

The discovery came just days after 22 royal mummies were moved to a new museum in a lavish spectacle that was broadcast worldwide. In addition, the discovery of 59 beautifully preserved sarcophagi in Saqqara is now the subject of a recent Netflix documentary; a bejeweled statue of the god Nefertum was found in Saqqara; the 4,700-year-old Djoser’s Step Pyramid was reopened last year after a 14-year, $6.6 million restoration; and progress is apace on the stunning Grand Egyptian Museum, scheduled to open sometime this year.

But the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the industry, and what had been expected to be a bonanza season became a bleak winter.

Tourism is a crucial part of Egypt’s economy — international tourism revenues totaled $13 billion in 2019 — and the country has been eager to attract visitors back to its archaeological sites.

attacks on tourists, bomb blasts that damaged prominent museums and a downed airliner that killed hundreds of Russian tourists in 2015.

But the sector was steadily recovering, with visitors attracted by both antiquities and the sun-and-sea offerings, growing to over 13 million in 2019 from 5.3 million in 2016. The coronavirus pandemic has reversed these gains, leaving hotels, resorts and cruises empty, popular sites without visitors and revenue, and thousands of tour guides and vendors with drastically reduced incomes or none at all.

“Tourism in Egypt just had one of its best years in 2019 and then came the pandemic which severely impacted it all,” Amr Karim, the general manager for Travco Travel, one of Egypt’s largest tour operators, said in a telephone interview. “Nobody knew what would happen, how we will handle it, how it will affect us. It’s strange.”

The pandemic, he said, disrupted how tour companies operated, how they priced their packages and how to work with hotels and abide by their new hygiene playbooks.

exposed the fragility of Egypt’s health care system, with doctors lamenting shortages in protective equipment and testing kits while patients died from lack of oxygen. With over 12,000 deaths, Egypt also recorded one of the highest fatality rates from the virus in the Arab world.

With a growing number of cases, health officials in Egypt have recently warned of a third wave of the virus. Authorities have also canceled large gatherings and festivals, and promised to fine those not complying with protective measures like mask-wearing, but many Egyptians do not abide by these rules.

Travelers are required to have a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before arriving in Egypt, and hotels are mandated to operate at half capacity.

The crisis affected not just big companies like Travco but also smaller ones that had started betting big on the growing tourism industry.

Passainte Assem established Why Not Egypt, a boutique travel agency, in 2017 by interviewing prospective travelers and customizing itineraries for them. But after the pandemic began, most of her clients, who are from Australia, Canada and the United States, canceled their plans, she said, pushing her to suspend the business for now.

The experience left her feeling that “tourism is not stable at all,” she said. “It cannot be the only source of income. I have to have a side hustle.”

a company trying to revive and preserve traditional Egyptian handicrafts.

offered Egyptians discounts on domestic plane travel, hotels and museum admissions.

But Ahmed Samir, chief executive of the tour company Egypt Tours Portal, said the direct cash support for tourism workers was minimal. With reduced bookings, he was able to keep his employees in his marketing and social media departments on the payroll but at half salary.

“As a kind of sympathy to my employees, we tried to balance,” he said. But still, he added, “most of my friends’ companies closed completely.”

The slowdown in tourist arrivals has left areas usually swamped by tourists quiet.

At the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo, Mahrous Abu Seif, a tour guide, sat waiting for clients one morning. A few small tour groups, including from Russia and China, were going through metal detector scans to go into the museum. But he hoped that more clients would come.

“What can I tell you? We sit here and wait and wait,” he said, throwing his hands in the air and adjusting his sunglasses. “We don’t know what the future holds.”

On the other side of town, at the historic El Fishawy coffee house, a few locals gurgled their water pipes and drank mint tea or Turkish coffee while melodious Quran recitation ascended from a nearby speaker. Located in the centuries-old Khan el Khalili market, the cafe, along with souvenir and jewelry shops, was hit badly by the pandemic.

“I used to bring people here and it would be packed, but look at it now,” Mohamed Said Rehan, a guide with a local company, said of the cafe. “The pandemic is a big problem.”

Mr. Rehan said that he knows many colleagues and friends who had to stay home for months without income or who left the industry altogether. But he still clings to a thread of hope that tourism will pick up soon.

And some tourists have indeed started coming back.

In February, Marcus Zimmermann, a 43-year-old architect from Germany, was visiting Egypt for the first time, stopping first in Cairo and planning trips to the southern city of Luxor, home to the iconic Valley of the Kings. Mr. Zimmermann had hoped to come to Egypt last year with his mother, who dreamed of being an archaeologist, for her 70th birthday. But they had to cancel their plans because of the pandemic.

This year, he decided to come alone but promised to “plan the trip again” with her once she’s vaccinated.

Even though it will be tough attaining the prepandemic figures quickly, people like Mr. Karim who work in the industry hope tourists will start coming back by year’s end.

With all the new discoveries, renovations and the planned opening of new sites and museums, tourists will gradually flock back to Egypt, he said.

“People will start to move. People will start to travel,” he said. “I am optimistic.”

Nada Rashwan and Asmaa Al Zohairy contributed reporting.

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22 Mummies Are Moved in a Glittering Display in Cairo

CAIRO — Downtown Cairo came to a near standstill Saturday night as 22 mummies were moved from a museum where they had resided for more than a century to a new home, transported atop custom-made vehicles in a glittering, meticulously planned procession.

The fanfare — broadcast live on state television and complete with a military band, a 21-gun salute and a host of Egyptian A-list celebrities — served as both a grand opening of sorts for the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization where the country’s oldest monarchs were set to land and an invitation to tourists to return to Cairo after the pandemic.

“These are the mummies of kings and queens who ruled during Egypt’s golden age,” said Zahi Hawass, a former minister of antiquities who supervised the discovery of tombs that date back thousands of years. “It’s a thrill, everyone will watch.”

Everyone, except many Egyptians.

Along the five-mile path to the new museum lay stretches of working-class neighborhoods that were deliberately hidden from view ahead of the parade, a reminder of the jarring divide between Egypt’s celebrated past and its uncertain present.

Banners proclaiming the “Pharaohs’ Golden Parade” and large national flags prevented television viewers from peering inside Cairo’s impoverished areas and kept local residents from getting a glimpse of the polished, made-for-TV spectacle. In one spot, plastic screens at least 10 feet tall were mounted on scaffolding to close gaps in a cream-colored wall.

“They put it up to hide us,” said Mohammed Saad, a local resident who stood with two friends a few feet behind a barrier that separated them from the newly swept road where the ancestral parade would roll through.

Two security officers confirmed that no one would be allowed to leave nearby neighborhoods during the parade, or to step onto the street to watch. “They can watch on a screen,” one of them offered.

In a television interview, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities credited the president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, for conceiving of the public procession as a way to draw tourists back after the coronavirus pandemic brought international travel to a halt last year.

But the spectacle also underlined the economic and social divisions in Egypt’s capital.

“There is a tendency to try to show a better picture instead of fixing the existing reality,” Ahmed Zaazaa, an urban planner, said of the government’s public image efforts. “The government says they are making reforms, but the vast majority of people in Cairo who live in working-class neighborhoods are excluded.”

Egyptian television broadcast nonstop coverage of the parade preparations, emphasizing how the news was echoing abroad, pairing the visuals with dramatic theme music and a stream of information about the 22 kings and queens who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

The ancient royals who were on the move included Ramses II, the longest reigning pharaoh, and Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s few female pharaohs.

After sunset, crowds gathered in downtown Cairo, among them enthusiastic young families who brought their children along in hopes of getting a glimpse of the historic moment.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. These are our ancestors.” said Sarah Zaher, who came with three friends.

But many of those who gathered were met by police barricades and turned back.

A uniformed officer yelled, “If you want to watch, go watch on television.” Disappointed, the crowds retreated into nearby coffee houses to watch on television or on their phones.

Nada Rashwan and Dawlat Magdy contributed reporting.

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