Egypt’s talks with Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, aimed at establishing a truce with Israel, ended unsuccessfully today, Reuters reports. The militant groups demanded Israel stop Gaza and West Bank raids, end its Gaza blockade, and reopen border-crossings. Hamas and Israel already appear to have instituted a de facto ceasefire, Reuters notes. Islamic Jihad continues to fire rockets into Israel.
Egypt is hosting the talks—with US blessing—in a town on the border with Gaza, which Hamas seized from the secular Fatah faction led by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas last summer. President Bush says he hopes a peace deal can be brokered before he leaves office in January.