Egypt has come up with a new plan that addresses Palestinian prisoners,
the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and suggests a
framework to establish a national unity government between Fatah and
General Omar Suleiman, the head of Egyptian intelligence, first discussed the plan with the head of Hamas’s political bureau, Khaled Meshal. Senior Hamas officials, including Meshal, were invited to discuss the proposal further in Cairo at the end of this week. If Meshal agrees to the meeting, then it is very possible that Hamas views the proposal as something they can work with.  

Suleiman extended his invitation to Syrian representatives who have also been a part of negotiations involving the release of Shalit in the past. Both the Israeli government and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are aware of the Egyptian initiative and seem positive about its potential.

Although details of the plan have not been released, certain sources told Haaretz that it was a package deal that would be implemented in stages. It involved the release of Palestinian political prisoners, the release of Shalit and a temporary ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians. 

Meanwhile, Israel has worked on developing ways to protect its interests according to sources in Hamas.

Both Hamas and Fatah officials have expressed fears that riots and clashes would break out on a larger scale if the plan fails. Abbas has already taken measures to curb Hamas’s power in the Gaza Strip, which involves the deployment of Fatah troops after the Muslim feast of ‘Eid finishes in one day.

This move comes in response to the four Fatah activists who were killed by Hamas supporters in four different villages this past Sunday. However, since the beginning of ‘Eid when Israeli soldiers killed eight Palestinians in Beit Hanoun, Fatah and Hamas have avoided fighting each other.

Sourced from Haaretz