Hamas proposes 1-year cease-fire; EU calls for Palestinian unity government; Hamas, Fatah hold reconciliation talks in Egypt
Egypt is monitoring the public opinion polls in Israel ahead of the February 10 general elections and is trying to convince Hamas to relax its demands for a deal with the Jewish state before the end of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's tenure, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Monday, quoting Israeli sources.
According to the report, Egypt warned Hamas that the next Israeli government, which according to the polls will be headed by Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu – will take more radical stances. Therefore, they said, the Palestinian movement must take advantage of the opportunity as long as the Olmert government is still in power, for fear of "losing everything".
The sources quoted by the paper estimated that Cairo understand the next two weeks will be crucial and will be seen as Hamas' "last opportunity for a good deal". Ynetnews.com
Watch this situation very closely as we get closer to the Israeli elections. If Benjamin Netanyahu gets elected, he won't stop at the cries of "disproportionate force" or "Gaza Holocaust" by the global community...he will finish the job. Hamas may heed the advise of Egypt and lock in a deal with the Olmert administration before Netanyahu takes power. Right now Hamas is offering between 1 and 1 1/2 year cease-fire depending on which news source you read. This could miraculously stretch into a multi-year cease-fire agreement.
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