Sources are saying that an Egyptian delegation is trying to talk Hamas into accepting a cease fire. While such a move is positive, it’s also unlikely to work.
Hamas is based on the idea that the Jews must be slaughtered. Trying to negotiate with Hamas is pointless – anyone who is willing to strap themselves with nails and explosives in order to kill Jews isn’t the kind of person who would be willing to compromise at the negotiating table. Hamas, Fatah, and Arafat all know very well that if the armed intifada fails they have no reason to remain in power. It’s in their best interests to derail peace as much as is possible.
It is possible to use non-military leverage to politically isolate Hamas and the other terrorist groups. However, the time it would take to do that would result in the tradeoff of hundreds more dead Israelis. The government of Israel is realizing that as long as Hamas is viable, the road map is a non-starter, which is why they’ve essentially declared war on Hamas. Hamas will not agree to a meaningful cease fire, as to do so would be to agree to end Hamas itself. If Egypt wanted to do something truly beneficial to the peace process they could end their support of radical Islamic clerics who spread the message of anti-Semitic hatred and violence. However, that too seems to be an unlikely scenario.