Israel has agreed "on the principles" of a Franco-Egyptian truce proposal, raising hopes of an end to its conflict with Palestinian militants in Gaza.Apparently Hamas has not been quite as agreeable--which seems to have led to this odd statement from Sarkozy:
In a statement on Wednesday, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy welcomed "the acceptance by Israel and the Palestinian Authority" of the Franco-Egyptian ceasefire plan. The statement did not mention Hamas.Is Sarkozy so desperate that the best he can do is to congratulate the PA for accepting a ceasefire that does not even concern them?
Eric Trager delineates some of the difficulties of the potential truce for Hamas, while it would require an end not only to the firing of rockets into Israel, but also to the actual smuggling of the rockets into Gaza as well. Israel has shown a willingness towards accept the truce.
It seems that everything mitigates against Hamas being able to accept the truce that the world wants in order to save Hamas. No wonder that Sarkozy is thrilled to find any Palestinian willing to accept his ceasefire plan.
However, when it comes to encouraging Hamas to accept and comply with the truce, the international community will find itself in a serious bind. For starters, accepting this truce would force Hamas to admit defeat - something that it cannot possibly do if it hopes to maintain its standing within the Muslim world, as well as among many Palestinians. Moreover, Hamas cannot accept a truce that it has had no part in negotiating - and the international community cannot permit Hamas’s involvement in negotiations, because doing so would reward Hamas for firing rockets and instigating a deadly war with Israel in the first place. Remember: the west has long maintained its boycott against Hamas on account of its terrorism and rejection of Israel’s existence, and the international community cannot allow Hamas to emerge from the current conflict with sudden diplomatic legitimacy.For this reason, the success of any forthcoming truce depends entirely on whether Israel’s attack on Gaza has weakened Hamas sufficiently.
Maybe next time he will know better than to follow the advice of those who insist on jumping into the Middle East to encourage the opposing sides to talk to each other.
Egyptian officials said the Israeli officials were meeting with the head of Egyptian military intelligence, Omar Suleiman, to explore a proposal devised by Egypt and France as what officials in Paris called a road map to a cease-fire. There was no immediate word on the outcome of the talks. [emphasis added]
Yeah, when I hear the phrase "road map" I get tense too.