Despite Israel’s sweeping denial of any talks with Hamas about a truce in return for the lifting of the blockade on Gaza, the Palestinian political establishment is taking the reports very seriously and ignoring the Israeli denial.
Meanwhile, Hamas’ difficulties in concluding such an agreement – if there is one in the works – are emerging. First, an interview given by Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Turkey’s Prime Minister, indicates why Egypt would be unable to accept such an agreement. Aktay asserted, first, that Hamas is the representative of the Palestinian people, and second, that Turkey would be the one to build Gaza’s seaport and airport.
Second, the PLO and Islamic Jihad are not convinced that a harbor for Gaza would signify “victory” in Operation Protective Edge, and they oppose the agreement.
Third, even though Hamas’s advisory council in Gaza has approved the agreement, no support for it is evident on the websites of the Muslim Brotherhood. Given the Brotherhood’s current difficult situation in the Arab world, a Hamas agreement with “the Jews” would damage its credibility among the Arabs.
Fourth, disputes can be detected within Hamas as well, and the intention of the Hamas leadership in Gaza to launch a campaign in the Arab world appears aimed at conveying a message that a similar campaign by Khaled Mashal does not represent the views of Gaza.
It appears, then, that internal Arab discord will thwart this process as it has so many others.