Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cairo Gaza talks make no progress

Truce talks in Egypt between Israel and Hamas failed to produce a ceasefire. Egypt hoped to get Hamas to agree to halt rocket attacks launched from Gaza, but Hamas refused, saying they could not so long as Gaza was being attacked by Israel.

Failed attempts at ceasefires in the region are nothing new, but there are a couple of reasons for at least a little optimism here.

First, Israel and Hamas actually talked. In the recent past this has been something that Israel has absolutely refused to do. But (like I have discussed in other posts here) it’s a step that no matter how unpleasant it is for Israel has to occur if a meaningful peace deal is ever going to happen between Israel and Palestine.

Second, these talks apparently happened after the United States specifically asked Egypt to try to bring Hamas and Israel together. That's encouraging because it shows that President Bush remains committed to the Israel-Palestine peace process and that he's willing to put some effort into making it happen.

Hamas said that a truce was possible if attacks against Gaza were stopped and if border crossings were reopened.
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