The Hamas leader-in-exile, Khaled Meshaal, has made it clear that Hamas is not prepared to accept a peace deal. “We won’t accept a permanent truce because it would deprive Palestinians of their right to resist in the face of the Israeli army,” he said. “Secondly, we will not accept the presence of an international force in Gaza because the international forces will be there for the security of Israel and undermine the resistance. Any international force imposed on our people will be regarded as an occupying force.”
As Meshaal addressed the world, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was in Cairo in an attempt to breath life into an Egyptian-French peace initiative. Israel demands a complete halt to Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel plus regional and international guarantees to prevent Hamas re-arming by smuggling weapons in through Egypt. Egypt will not accept any foreign troops on its soil. In turn Hamas wants an end to the crippling economic blockade of Gaza, as well as the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the territory.