Khaled Mashal, the Hamas leader who is currently in Syria, was behind the recent offer of a “hudna”-cease fire– to the Israel government. He specifically ordered Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh who is in Gaza to enter into mediation talks with Israel and to keep the border area quiet by avoiding military actions. In the past, despite what Israel claims, they have engaged in secret behind the scenes negotiations with Hamas such as recently allowing pilgrims to leave Gaza on their way to Mecca. The Mahsal demand, indicates there is a desire on the part of Hamas leadership to become more active on the diplomatic front in order to maintain their position among the Palestinian people.
It is quite clear that Hamas leadership is centered in Syria and depends upon the good offices of President Bashar Assad for being able to function. Assad has repeatedly indicated he seeks an accommodation with Israel over th Golan Heights issue. President Assad also finds himself coming under renewed attacks from world leaders for his interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon. President Sarkozy publicly blasted Assad by bluntly stating, “I have reached the end of patience with Assad. Now words will not suffice. I want action.” The stage is set for Israel to begin negotiations with Syria over the Golan Heights. As part of such talks, Israel could insist on Syria ceasing to support or fund Hamas military action in Gaza such as rocket attacks. At this point in time Israel must be as aggressive for peace as it is for preservation of its military power.