The Egyptian government this week allowed some victims of the fighting in Gaza to enter through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, as well as the elderly and children. Though the Rafah crossing still has restricted access, a policy continued from Mubarak's rule, that access has been tightened or loosened since Morsy took office, depending on the local security conditions.
This week, the Egyptian government allowed more than 500 Egyptians to cross into Gaza in a show of solidarity with the Palestinians, waving Palestinian flags and chanting, "Israel is the enemy." Rami Shaath, who helped organize the effort, told CNN, "We just broke the siege."
But that border is also a sign of a deteriorating security situation within Egypt, where much of Mubarak's feared apparatus has been dismantled since his ouster. More than 500 top officers of Mubarak's State Security Investigations have retired or been sacked, and militant groups have found space in places such as the sparsely populated Sinai Peninsula, where they have received shipments of weapons from Libya and elsewhere.
In one attack on a military outpost in Sinai in July, militant Islamists killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. Morsy's government responded with a campaign aimed at driving them out of the region, accompanied by the firing of the region's governor, military police chief and intelligence director.
Always an undergoverned area with scant respect for the state, Sinai is dominated by Bedouin tribes who are also accomplished smugglers.
Nevertheless, Mitchell said Morsy's government "has invested a lot of effort and in a sense prestige in this. So I think they will be trying very hard to make certain this that this cease-fire does hold, at least for a sufficient period of time so that the parties can discuss the broader issues."
"I think it will only redound to his benefit, both domestically and around the world," Mitchell added. "But in the end, his success or failure will rest upon how well the people of Egypt feel their interests have been met in terms of the need for jobs, for education -- the same things that people want everywhere in the world."