Hamas: Ceasefire Could Be Reached in 48 Hours

Cairo Talks Set to Begin, Signs Both Sides Are Open to Ceasefire

by Jason Ditz, January 07, 2009

Talks to settle on the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip are set to begin tomorrow in Cairo, and Hamas seems quite optimistic.

In the light of all the diplomatic efforts ongoing right now, I am convinced we will succeed in finding a formula agreeable to both sides within 48 hours,” top Hamas figure Ahmed Yousef told an Israeli website. Israel is likewise dispatching an official for the Cairo talks, showing for the first time a sincere willingness to consider an end to their war in the Gaza Strip.

Not that there aren’t obstacles. Israel’s demands include preventing Hamas from ever being able to rearm and for the Egyptian government to secure total control over its border with Gaza. Hamas wants Israel to stop its strikes and end its blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as an end to the international boycott of the movement.

Egypt has demands too, even though they’re not a belligerent force in this conflict. They want international troops in the Gaza Strip and also want the Rafah border crossing placed under the Palestinian Authority’s control. Whether these three sides can come to some sort of an agreement in the talks remains to be seen, but the eyes of 1.5 million Palestinians will be on it. Or would be if most of them weren’t without electricity for over a week.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz