There is a moment of respite in Gaza from the air assault which has caused such devastation in the area. Egyptian leaders are working around the clock to persuade Hamas to cooperate not merely with Israel but with its political rival Fatah and the Abbas government which currently directs the Palestinian Authority. A major problem encountered by Egyptian mediators is that while Hamas is willing to participate in a coalition government with Fatah it wants an end to any cooperation with Israel and pursuing the dream of ending the Israeli state. President Abbas and Egyptian leaders consider such an approach to lead only to disaster and the end of any sensible peace.
Fatah leaders want to take advantage of the new Obama administration and work with it to secure a peace that respects Palestinian rights. There is hope Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will move away from his close ties with Iran and cooperate with Egypt in an effort to bring together Hamas and Fatah.