Under former President Hosni Mubarak, the country's security forces had suppressed its own Islamists in the Muslim Brotherhood, even jailing Morsy at one point. That gave Morsy and his government influence with Hamas that Mubarak, a product of Egypt's military establishment, never had, said Fawaz Gerges, a professor of international relations and Middle East analyst at the London School of Economics.
"Hamas listens to Mohamed Morsy," Gerges told CNN as the talks were still going on. "Hamas looks up to Egypt now, at this particular stage, and that is why Egypt has emerged as the most important state vis-a-vis Hamas and Gaza." Egypt's role in the talks was "pivotal," he said.
Iran: The Islamic republic's nuclear program was one of the unspoken aspects to the conflict, according to world affairs columnist Frida Ghitis. "Iran and its nuclear program also play a powerful psychological role, as observers and participants ponder the parallels between the latest Israel-Hamas conflict and a possible war in which Iran would stand against the U.S. or Israel, and perhaps other NATO allies.
"Little wonder then that Israel has received strong support from U.S. President Barack Obama -- who has repeatedly stated, "We are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself from missiles raining on people's homes" -- as well as from nations including the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and others.
"When Israelis see a rocket launched from Gaza, the thought that one day that rocket could carry nuclear materials burns hot in their mind."
But Iran's hand was arguably weakened after this episode as Israel's Iron Dome shot hundreds of its missiles out the sky, CNN's Newton said.
While Israel has always accused Iran of smuggling weapons to Hamas through the Egyptian border, Iran today implicitly confirmed it.
"Gaza is under siege, so we cannot help them. The Fajr-5 missiles have not been shipped from Iran. Its technology has been transferred (there) and are being produced quickly," Mohamed Ali Jafari, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, is quoted as saying by the Iranian news agency ISNA.