As Jews throughout the world celebrate the Passover holidays, Egtpitan Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman will soon be arriving in Israel with an offer from Hamas for a truce. The Egyptian government has been actively engaged in peace discussions with Hamas for many reasons including a desire to avoid its own confrontation with Gazans if Hamas orders a breathrough of Egyptian lines on the Gaza border. Discussions about a truce began months ago spearheaded from the Israel side by Gen(ret.) Amos Gilad and Suleiman. Prime Minister Olmert continues repeating the government line that no discussions were being held with Hamas, either official or not official.
There is some evidence of a split in Hamas leadership with those on the scene in Gaza seeking a reduction of tension while Hamas leaders stationed in Damascus are more prone to seek increasing tension in order to force Israel to the bargaining table. A key factor hindering attaining a cease fire is that while Israel wants an end to Kassam rocket attacks, it does not want a cease fire which allows Hamas to resupply with rockets and other weapons. There is concern among some Israel leaders that Hamas wants to create a situation in which Israel comes across as the intransigent party.
Hamas insists any truce also entails opening border crossings and a halt to Israel Defense Troop operations in the Gaza area. Hamas has agreed in principle to the Egyptian proposal and, in effect, has thrown the ball into the Israel court for further action. However one problem that impacts any truce is whethe Hamas is able to control other militant factions such as the violent Islamic Jihad to cease firing rockets.