Hamas strongman makes first post-war appearance

Senior Hamas leader in Gaza Mahmoud Zahar on Saturday appeared in public for the first time since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead six weeks ago. Zahar led a Hamas delegation to a new round of cease-fire talks in Egypt. Zahar and three other Hamas officials crossed from Gaza into Egypt on Saturday, en route to Cairo. Zahar said Hamas would be flexible about who will take charge of reconstruction in the Strip, noting that thousands of homes and buildings were destroyed or damaged during the war, causing an estimated $2 billion in damages.