CAIRO, May 4 (UPI) -- The conflict between Egypt and Hezbollah is a miscalculated attempt by the Shiite militant group to insert itself into the regional conversation, critics argue.
Cairo came forward in April with claims that it had uncovered a Hezbollah cell planted in the Sinai peninsula that was planning to launch multiple attacks on Egyptian soil.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah admitted to maintaining operatives in Egypt but said they were there in support of the Palestinian cause. Nasrallah also said the allegations were part of an effort by Cairo to restore lost influence in the region as Ankara emerges as the latest Washington favorite.
Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, general manager of al-Arabiya television, writes in Asharq al-Awsat, where he had served as editor in chief, that the Egyptian row was actually an attempt by Nasrallah to make up for Hezbollah's decline.
"The question that presents itself is the following: Is there an Egyptian campaign against Hezbollah, or is it merely a claim by Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah?" he wrote.
Rashed said that while Arab pressure against Cairo mounts amid the latest campaigns in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah has lost ground in Lebanon, where international peacekeepers are prohibiting Hezbollah militias from operating in the very territory it claims to control.
Despite his claims, however, analysts predict Hezbollah lawmakers will emerge in the majority in the June parliamentary elections, securing control as part of the March 8 coalition.