Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas landed in Cairo Friday evening, apparently in further attempts to move forward with an Egyptian ceasefire plan in Gaza, which recently collapsed into renewed cross-border fighting between Hamas and Israel.
Before his flight to Egypt, Abbas had been in Qatar for meetings with Hamas' political leader Khaled Mashal, also to discuss efforts to reach a ceasefire deal. The two met twice over the course of one day, but a senior Hamas member said that the details and outcome of the meetings was still unknown, and at the best uncertain.
"We don't see any reason to return to ceasefire talks in Cairo to discuss the final Palestinian proposal," said the official. "It would be a waste of time."
Official news reports in Qatar reported that Abbas and Mashal had agreed in their talks to call on the UN to set a time table for the, "end of the occupation". According to the report, The two also said that the UN should act in order to create a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capitol.
Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar addressed the possibility that the Gaza Strip would be disarmed as part of a ceasefire agreement saying that, "We won't agree to international decisions that will harm the weapons of the oppostions and that won't lead to the complete end to the seige of the Gaza Strip."
Hamas official Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook was even more pessimistic regarding the diplomatic front saying that Hamas wouldn't be returning to Cairo for additional ceasefire talks. "Israel only understands power," he said. "We'll continue a war of attrition until we get our demands."
Abu Marzook added that as the organization fights, they are also continuing in efforts to build more rockets.
Abbbas' Fatah seemed slightly more optimistic after the President's visit to Qatar, and a member of the PA's envoy to talks in Cairo said, "The Egyptian proposal can still play a role as a basis for resuming negotiations even in the next few days."
From the Israeli side, the idea of further ceasefire attempts with Hamas seemed to be the last option being considered Friday, after a 4-year-old boy was killed by mortar fire in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council near the Gaza border.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the mayor of Sha'ar HaNegev Alon Schuster after the attack that killed the child saying that, "Hamas will pay a heavy price for this devastating terrorist attack."
"The IDF and Shin Bet will intensify the operations against Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza until the goals of Operation Protective Edge are achieved."
Schuster, known for leaning to the right on issues of defense, spoke to the media after his discussion with the Prime Minister and said that, "We know that we are facing a difficult task that may take a long time. Summer 2014 is the summer of decisions. There is no chance that Israel will be dragged into a war of attrition."
Attila Somfalvi, Matan Tzuri and AFP contributed to this report.