Mideast talks return to Cairo

Israeli negotiators returned to Cairo on Monday to resume talks with Palestinians as a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip held.

The Israeli team arrived at midmorning in Cairo to resume the talks, which were suspended Friday when a previous cease-fire ended and militants in Gaza started ­firing upon Israel.

The agenda for talks includes the rebuilding of Gaza after a month of Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling destroyed thousands of homes and much of the Gaza's infrastructure. The parties also are expected to talk about a possible prisoner release and about easing some of the restrictions on Gazans' daily life.

There appears to be a wide gap between what would be acceptable to Palestinian negotiators from Hamas and those from the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank. To the thinking of Hamas, Gaza deserves not punishment but something substantive for all the suffering and destruction, no matter who started the shooting. But Israel isn't in any mood to reward Hamas. And the Egyptians, led by a military-backed government that hates Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, may not press the Islamist movement's case.