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November 19th, 2012
07:56 AM ET

Wilson Center's Jane Harman 'optimistic' a cease-fire in Israel-Gaza conflict could be announced soon

Tensions are rising in the Middle East as a deadly conflict threatens to become an all out war along the border of Gaza and Israel. The international community watches on in hopes of a truce between Israel and Hamas. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is visiting the region today to help negotiate a cease-fire.

The lines are drawn: Hamas is demanding an end to Israel’s blockade on Gaza, while Israel says the airstrikes will not end until Hamas quits sending missiles. Egypt is a major negotiating partner between the two.

Wilson Center director Jane Harman. fmr. ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has traveled to Cairo, Egypt regularly to address the crisis and talks with CNN's Alina Cho about the likelihood of a cease fire.

Some doubt that Egypt is a neutral negotiator and is an ally of Hamas, but Harman disagrees and is hopeful Egypt will help foster a truce between Hamas and Israel.

“There is reason for optimism that a cease-fire could be announced as early as this afternoon,” Harman says. “And the role that the Egyptians have played in helping broker that is very positive. They could only do that if they had a special relationship both with Hamas and with Israel.”

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