Thanks for the very helpful analysis. Can you address the difference between your account of what Hamas accepted and the New York Times claim (on 5/7) that they actually put forward a different proposal?

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The Times account is by Peter Baker, who has a long track record of poor reporting, and who, as the Times White House reporter, often shades things for the administration.

Part of the issue is that the offer to which Hamas responded, as I allude to in my piece above, was drafted by Qatar and Egypt, albeit certainly with the involvement of Bill Burns. The POTUS and SecState were not, apparently, fully read in before Hamas announced its acceptance, which reports have said the White House first heard of on Al8 Jazeera. Hence the spin. But Hamas did not put this proposal together, Egypt and Qatar did. Burns was certainly consulted at the very least, but Washington was caught flat footed a bit because Israel's actions prompted Hamas to make a quicker decision than anticipated and, as the Times does report, was scrambling to cobble together a response (which, one notes, they still don't really have). Baker simply helped.

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