A light at the End of the Tunnel?

Sunday, July 23, 2006
Haaretz has a story on a possible cease fire between Israel and Hamas.

The initiative, discussed by representatives of Palestinian organizations in Gaza over the past several days, also includes an agreement to set up a unity government.

The Egyptian-initiated plan consists of freeing abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, a joint cease-fire and the cessation of IDF assassinations in the Gaza Strip. The release of Palestinian prisoners would be part of the deal, but come at a later stage.

It is not clear, however, whether the Hamas political leader in Damascus, Khaled Meshal, would agree to such a deal.

Representatives of several military factions in Gaza denied Saturday reports of a unilateral cease-fire. Palestinian sources stated that they are only willing to accept a joint truce that would include an end to Qassam fire in return for a halt in IDF actions in Gaza.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas parliament members and leaders in Gaza, urging them to accept the deal before American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's arrival on Monday.

Most Palestinian factions, including the Hamas leadership, have agreed to the Egyptian deal in principle, but argue that Israel will not be ready for a cease-fire as long as Shalit is held captive. Fatah's leadership also rejects a unilateral cease-fire at this stage.

Egypt, meanwhile, is continuing its efforts to persuade Hamas leaders overseas and in Gaza to free Shalit in exchange for Egyptian guarantees to release Palestinian prisoners later on, as part of a comprehensive cease-fire deal.

Dr. Salah al-Bardawil, head of the Hamas parliamentary faction, told Haaretz that if Israel stops its actions in Gaza, most Palestinian groups would accept a cease-fire.

I wonder how the Hamas leadership in Damascus will react to this if it really comes about? So far they are not the ones the bombs are dropping on.

H/T Captains Quarters .

Ed also has an interesting story on the possibility of a split between Syria and Iran, and the role Condi Rice's trip might play in exploiting such a split. The idea seems to be to isolate the Hezbellah more than they already are.


Buddy Larsen said...

FoxNews is reporting that the Syrian Foreign Minister has just announced that he wants to talk to Condi when she arrives in the area.

chuck said...


Playing hard to get is a great strategy, no? Beats the promiscuous days of Clinton's diplomacy all to Hell.

Seneca the Younger said...

Chuck, it just seems that metaphorical characterization --- or maybe not so metaphorical? --- just won't go away.

In any case, I think it might be about time for that guy in Damascus to despair and commit suicide with three rounds to the back of the head.

Peter UK said...

The probability is that Syria has realised that if Hezbollah goes down that they,and not Iran,are next door.
Syria might just find it unsettling to be allied to a madman with a green glow,after all tha Ba'athist are more your typical Middle Eastern gangster regime,all this fanaticism is bad for business.On which topic,Lebanon was a nice little earner for Syria,not the most productive of nations

truepeers said...

Someone should tell the Palis why the Israelis target their leaders in Gaza for execution, then they would not make the logical error of saying their ceasefire depends on Israel stopping excursions. Israel is teaching the Palis a basic lesson in how to have a relationship: fire a rocket, send a suicider, and we kill your leaders; we don't portray you as victims of the west.

David Thomson said...

There must not be another phony ceasefire. Israel must first finish the job. The Muslim extremists are Jew haters. It is illogical to negotiate with these monsters. They will simply violate any agreement at the very first opportunity. Furthermore, it is considered a moral duty for them to do so!