Andy Johnson, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:53PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 21, 2012 6:24PM EST
With the world on edge watching a tenuous ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and sweeping changes still underway in the wake of the Arab Spring, a look at the recent changes in the region.
President: Mohammed Morsi, elected June 2012.
Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979, ending the Arab-Israeli War which began in 1948.
The 30-plus years of peace, however, is often referred to as a 'Cold Peace.’
Relations with Israel chilled during the Second Intifada in 2000-2005, a period of intensified fighting between Palestinians and Israel.
There were fears relations would deteriorate after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, which refuses to acknowledge Israel's right to exist.
Question: Will Mohammed Morsi use IDF's campaign in Gaza to justify a harsher approach towards Israel?
President: Bashar al Assad, elected July 2000. Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic.
Israel currently occupies two-thirds of the Golan Heights -- a strategic plateau and mountainous region in southwestern Syria -- which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Peace accord signed in 1948 war established demilitarized zones (DMZs) between Israel and Syria. But border clashes continued.
Israel and Syria have fought 4 major wars: in 1948, 1967, 1973 and 1982.
Syria is still embroiled in a civil war which began March 2011, with uprisings against Assad and the neo-Baathist government.
In November 2012: Syrian opposition groups formed the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, an umbrella organization.
Question: The outcome of the Syria uprising could have a major effect on peace in the Middle East. There are reports Israel is rooting for the survival of Assad, rather than face an untested new government. What will happen if Assad falls?
Prime Minister: Abdullah Nsour, elected on Oct. 11, 2012
The Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty was signed on Oct. 26, 1994, returning Israeli-occupied lands to Jordan and setting out an agreement on water rights to the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers.
Since then relations have been good, with agreements have been signed on a number of areas, including trade, transportation and tourism.
Tensions escalated in the fall of 2011, during the Arab Spring, when protesters attempted to organize a million-person march against the Israeli embassy in Jordan's capital Amman.
Question: Will the renewed tensions between Israel and the Palestinians lead to a renewed anti-Israeli movement in Jordan?
Prime Minister Najib Miqati, elected July 7, 2011. His cabinet is dominated by Hezbollah.
Israel and Lebanon have a long history of tense relations, dating back to the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and Jordan's 1970 crackdown on the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
Many Palestinians sought refuge in Lebanon, including Yasser Arafat and the PLO, which used Lebanon as a base to carry out attacks on Israel.
Decades of fighting ensued, and in July 2006, Hezbollah militants crossed into Israel and killed three Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others. Israel launched a massive bombing campaign. Hezbollah retaliated with rocket attacks into northern Israeli cities. The conflict lasted for 34 days.
Question: Will the powerful Hezbollah members of Lebanon's cabinet push for Lebanon to support the Palestinians, given the fact many Lebanese have deep roots in the Palestinian territories?
President: Mahmud Ahmadinejad, elected Aug. 3, 2005
It's difficult to imagine, but Israel and Iran once had close ties under the Pahlavi dynasty, which lasted from 1925 to 1979.
After the fall of the Pahlavis, and the rise of the Khomeini era, that quickly changed. Israel was declared an "enemy of Islam" by Ayatollah Khomeini. An anti-Zionist stance was adopted.
Ahamdinejad's apparent comments in 2005 that Israel should be "wiped off the map" further raised tensions between the two nations, and came as Ahmadinejad adopted a rigid anti-Zionist stance.
On Nov. 20, 2012, Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson said Palestinians should be "equipped' to defend themselves against Israel's air strikes on Gaza, which it called "organized terrorism."
That raised questions about whether Iran had supplied Fajr-5 rockets which Hamas said it had fired into Tel Aviv.
Question: If Iran continues to provide Hamas with weapons, will Israel respond with direct attacks on Iran?
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, elected March 14, 2004
Relations between Israel and Turkey started out strong. In 1949, Turkey became the first Muslim nation to recognize Israel, and military and diplomatic relations were soon established.
In 1967, relations took a turn after Turkey joined other Arab nations condemning Israel for the Six Day War, and called for its withdrawal from the Palestinian territories.
In 2005 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyp Erdogan visited Israel and offered to serve as a peace envoy. He called Iran's nuclear ambitions a threat to the world and condemned anti-Semitism.
Relations were stressed in 2008-2009, however, when Turkey called the Israeli campaign in the Gaza Strip "state sponsored terrorism."
In 2010, nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli troops after seven Israeli troops were injured on the Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla destined for Gaza. The incident led to even further deteriorated relations.
In September 2011 Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador -- a decision praised by Hamas.
Question: Are Israeli-Turkish relations repairable, in light of the renewed tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians, or will Turkey join the list of once-friendly nations now firmly opposed to Israel?
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