Hamas officials have been shuttling back and forth to Cairo in an effort to secure cooperation of the Egyptian government regarding the proposed cease fire agreement with Israel. Reports suggest the Cairo Initiative is predicated on two week period of calm during which time, Israel forces will cease bombing in Gaza and Hamas will cease firing rockets into Israel. Humanitarian assistance would be allowed into Gaza. The Egyptian plan appears to allow Israeli forces not to leave Gaza unless Hamas agrees to a ten or fifteen year truce during which all rocket attacks on Israel will end. However, Hamas is upset because the plan does not guarantee an end to Israel attacks on Hamas leaders or to absolute guarantees there will be free passage of goods in and out of Gaza.
At some point, Israel must take a gamble and pledge to cease targeting Hamas leaders as part of any truce agreement and to pledge an end to blockading Gaza. Perhaps, the immediate approach to this problem is turning over all Gaza crossings to troops from Turkey- a nation that is trusted both by Israel and Hamas. Israel must end killing of Palestinian leaders and it must withdraw from controlling the passage of goods into and out of Gaza.
We forget that Germany which killed 30 million Europeans during World War II was able to build positive relations with its enemies once all became involved in the Marshall Plan to reconstruct the continent. Perhaps, it is time for a similar “Marshall Plan” in the Middle East which would compel enemies to work in a cooperative manner with one another.