As new/old U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell embarks on his Comfy Chair tour of friendly Middle Eastern capitals -- hoping to inaugurate President Obama's peace push -- progress is being attempted on the Hamas-Israel truce front.
Hamas has reportedly offered a one-year truce, asking in return that Israel re-open all of Gaza's border crossings and allow Turkey to play a major role in international monitoring in the Strip. Hamas also wants/plans to take credit for all of the rebuilding in Gaza.
And Hamas also has a stern warning to its political rival, the PA and Prez Mahmoud Abbas: you're either with us, or your with Israel. Abu Mazen hasn't exactly come out of this latest conflict looking like Mandela. And after cracking down on Palestinian freedom of expression in the West Bank while Gaza burned and suffered, the PA increasingly looks weak, desperate, tyrannical and scared. Abbas is a fiddle away from seeing Nero's mug in his own mirror.
The titular head of the Palestinian nation has been feebly working on the peace process with Israel and the U.S., efforts that to Hamas's eyes culminated in Israel's bombardment and invasion of Gaza, a conflict the opining on which Abbas was largely absent. So Hamas wants to know: Hey Mahmoud, which side are you on?
(By the way, Abbas's term as President officially ended on January 9. Now ineptitude is not his only problem; his legitimacy is now officially in question. This won't be lost on his interlocuters when Hamas and the PA meet in Egypt next month for reconciliation talks.)