Israelis are playing chess with themselves — letting Hamas wait

Haaretz reported that Egypt expects Israel to implement Gaza truce: “Egypt is expecting Israel to accept and implement the cease-fire proposal agreed on by the Palestinian factions, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit’s bureau chief said Wednesday. Meanwhile, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman is expected to arrive in Israel shortly [UPDATE – It was later announced that Suleiman’s visit would be after Israel has its 60th anniversary celebrations this week] to receive Israel’s official response to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, Palestinian sources in Cairo said. Speaking by phone to Haaretz from Cairo, Egyptian Foreign Ministry bureau chief Hossam Zaki, who is also the Egyptian ministry’s spokesman, said: ‘The Israelis are giving themselves plenty of time to think and evaluate … Israel can contribute by accepting the Egyptian effort and the tahadiya [calm]’ … The Egyptian effort to reach an agreement with the Palestinian factions bore fruit on Tuesday. After separate talks between the Egyptians and the representatives of each faction, the factions announced they were ready to accept the Egyptian formulation for a cease-fire. Israel, however, objects to the formulation for a number of reasons. Israel is
concerned that Hamas will use the calm to increase its military strength. In addressing this concern, Zaki said ‘Egypt does not control the Gaza Strip but is only a neighbor. Egypt is in contact with those responsible for the Strip’. Zaki also said it was Egypt’s responsibility to act sincerely in order to prevent any violation of an agreement or understanding to which Egypt is a party … The official Egyptian news agency MENA reported that all 12 Palestinian factions whose representatives were in Cairo had accepted the Egyptian proposal. Egypt was not able to get the factions to themselves declare a united position on the agreement, as it had hoped. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak also spoke Wednesday about the agreement with Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Israeli sources said they were awaiting official confirmation of the agreement. ‘Meanwhile, they are playing chess with themselves’, a security source said”.
This article can be read in full in Haaretz here .

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