In the midst of forming a new government after the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's officials say they are implementing new foreign policies to better reflect their citizens' wishes. But their new direction may not sit well with the West: On Wednesday, Egypt made a deal to reclaim influence in Gaza in an attempt to reconcile its secular Palestinian party Fatah and its Hamas rivals. In doing so, they are seeking to reclaim influence in an area that they lost during the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. "Egypt is resuming its role that was once abdicated," said Ambassador Menha Bakhoum, spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry. The changes will likely shake up the balance of power in the Middle East, allowing Iran free access to Israel. An Israeli official said his country is troubled about the "rapprochement between Iran and Egypt" and the renewed friendship between Egypt and Hamas. "These developments could have strategic implications on Israel's security," said the anonymous official. “In the past Hamas was able to rearm when Egypt was making efforts to prevent that. How much more can they build their terrorist machine in Gaza if Egypt were to stop?” Egypt's security forces protected Israel at the border with Gaza, where arms and other weapons were often smuggled to Hamas foes through tunnels.