Senior representatives of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad met in Egypt with officials in order to discuss implementation of a truce, or at least, a period of calm in order to restore some semblance of tranquility for all involved in the current Gaza crisis. Ahmed Youssef, adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said his organization is also prepared to work with the Yemenite “initiative which aims to resolve the rilvary between Hamas and Fatah.” He emphasized that Hamas is trying to maintain contacts with European representatives from Britain, Sweden, and France who are trusted to be fair.
Russia is attempting to use a conference on the Middle East which is being held in Moscow to further efforts at compromise. Russan Foreign Ministe Sergey Lavrov urged Israel to end the Gaza blockade and restore normalcy to the area. He also indicated his government wants an end to violence on the part of Hamas as well as an end to further construction on the West Bank.
A period of calm is despertately needed in order to give everyone a breathing space to digest what has happened and what are the potential directions for all parties if there is to be a more permanent peace in the region.