(Stratfor) 1145 GMT - Hamas could agree to a cease-fire as early as June 17, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath says. The announcement came after Egyptian officials met June 16 with Palestinian officials, including Minister for Security Affairs Mohammed Dahlan. The Egyptian delegation met with Hamas leaders on June 15. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said that Israel would reject any temporary cease-fire, claiming that Hamas would use the time to regroup for more attacks. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his Cabinet on June 16 that Israel could agree to a cease-fire, but reserved the right to strike against anyone who attacks Israel first. In addition, Hamas leaders living abroad -- such as Khaled Meshal -- said they would consider a cease-fire as long as Israel agrees to stop assassinations, incursions and other military activities, Haaretz reported, citing sources close to the talks.
WHATEVER.... What strikes me is that now that Arafat has been sidelined, and the new Palestinian "leadership" is nothing but a paper tiger (a "chicken with no feathers" is how Sharon called it), none other than Hamas is becoming the main authority for the Palestinians. Of course Hamas is unpredictable, unreliable, and too much of a loose cannon to be expected to adhere to any sort of agreement. Which, of course, is exactly what the Israelis want, so they can continue maintinaining the status-quo! How wonderful for the Palestinians.