According to reports, a long-term humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas may or may not be in the offing as soon as tomorrow.
First, the Jerusalem Post speculates that Hamas chief-in-exile Khaled Meshal ironed out the details of a proposal with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting in Qatar earlier today.
Some Arab TV stations on Monday night quoted unnamed Palestinian sources as saying that a humanitarian ceasefire will be announced in Cairo Tuesday.
The sources claimed that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was expected to arrive in Cairo for the announcement.
The nuts and bolts of a possible deal were relayed by Avi Issacharoff:
According to various Palestinian sources, Mashaal agreed to the Egyptian proposal of an immediate ceasefire but demanded the inclusion of various changes, foremost of which is a call to remove the blockade of Gaza. Mashaal even demanded guarantees for the removal of the blockade not just from Egypt, but from the PA and the United States, but didn’t insist on inclusion of Hamas’s other demands for the past two weeks, namely the opening of the Rafah Border Crossing with Egypt, freedom for prisoners released in the [Gilad] Shalit deal who were recently taken back into Israeli custody, establishment of an international port and others."
As we detailed last week, this would vary greatly from the ceasefire conditions reportedly put forth by Hamas last week after rejecting the Egyptian proposal.
Issacharoff added that Abbas, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will meet in Egypt on Tuesday to make the announcement. Earlier today, President Barack Obama called for an immediate ceasefire during a press conference on the South Lawn of the White House.
Despite all the potentially good news, there were some throwing cornstarch on the party.
A member of Hamas' political bureau Izzet A-Rishak denied that the organization had agreed to a long-term humanitarian ceasefire in an interview with Arab media outlets. He said that, "This information is incorrect and Hamas is still committed to its public demands to reach a ceasefire."
We'll find out soon enough and not a moment too soon.