Speed Reads

Israel and Palestine

Egypt proposes a not-totally-implausible Israel-Hamas ceasefire plan

Starting at 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday, Israel and Hamas might hit pause on their mounting military showdown. Almost 200 Palestinians have been killed in the weeklong aerial battle — Israel's fighter jets versus Hamas rockets fired from Gaza, mostly — and Egypt is trying to calm things down. A senior Israeli officials tells The New York Times that the Egyptian ceasefire plan is "being considered very seriously" by Tel Aviv, and Hamas didn't reject it outright.

Egypt's plan calls for Israel to re-open the border crossing to Gaza, with people and goods allowed through when the security situation "becomes stable on the ground." Two days after that happens, Israel and Hamas are supposed to meet for talks in Cairo; U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry could arrive in Cairo as early as Tuesday, Egyptian officials say.

This isn't a done deal. The Hamas military al-Qassam Brigades faction has rejected the reported text of the Egyptian proposal, Reuters reports. Egypt's traditional role as mediator of Israeli-Palestinian conflicts has been jeopardized by Hamas' anger over the ouster of elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, representing the Muslim Brotherhood, a Hamas ally. Egypt's new president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, led the military unseating of Morsi.