Hamas is clearly prepared to take the risk of a still wider conflict, gambling that Israel desperately wants a ceasefire at this moment.
The key to a calming of the current situation, as ever lies, in Egypt. In Cairo, the heads of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been holding discussions with Egyptian intelligence officials on a longer-term ceasefire. The key demand in those Cairo discussions is that Israel allow the ongoing transfer of the Qatari millions in return for ongoing calm and concessions. Hamas calls this “the second stage” of the understandings — the continuation of the secret agreement reached between Hamas and Israel, with Egyptian mediation, on the eve of Israel’s elections. This agreement, whose full details have never been disclosed, achieved relative calm on the Gaza border. The fishing zone was expanded. There were some easing of restrictions on the transfer of produce.
Now, with the major rocket fire flare-up, Gaza is hoping to extract further funding, from Qatar, via Israel.