Progress toward an historic ceasefire deal in the Gaza Strip involving Hamas and Israel seems to have been derailed this weekend. After reports Saturday that the Palestinian Authority threatened to cut ties with Israel if they reached such a deal, Hamas confirmed Sunday that talks had been halted.
The move likely reflects Fatah’s concern that a Hamas-Israel rapprochement would weaken their own bargaining position with both of them, and has them trying to undermine the Egypt-brokered Gaza talks.
Ironically, this is much the same reaction Israel had when Egypt was trying to brokered a Hamas-Fatah ceasefire, angrily threatening all involved. This derailed several efforts, forcing Egypt to try to restart the process.
Which means Egyptian diplomats have a road map for how to handle these things, and two diplomats have been dispatched to Gaza over the weekend for emergency talks with Hamas to try to salvage both processes.
Any one two-way deal is going to leave the third party feeling left out, however. That may force Egypt to push both the Hamas-Fatah and Hamas-Israel deals concurrently, and try to get them in place at the same time.