The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From AP:
JERUSALEM (AP) — A diplomatic push to end Israel’s nearly weeklong offensive in the Gaza Strip gained momentum Tuesday, with Egypt’s president predicting that airstrikes would end within hours and Israel’s prime minister saying his country would be a “willing partner” to a cease-fire with the Islamic militant group Hamas.
As international diplomats raced across the region to cement a deal, a senior Hamas official said an agreement was close even as relentless airstrikes and rocket attacks between the two sides continued. President Barack Obama dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Mideast from Cambodia, where she had accompanied him on a visit.
“We haven’t struck the deal yet, but we are progressing and it will most likely be tonight,” Moussa Abu Marzouk said Tuesday from Cairo, where cease-fire talks were being held.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, perhaps the most important interlocutor between Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory, and the Israelis, said the negotiations between the two sides will yield “positive results” during the coming hours.