CAIRO (AFP) - Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas pressed his rivals Hamas on Saturday to accept an Egyptian plan to end Israel's war in the Gaza Strip, as a movement delegation arrived in Cairo to discuss the proposal. "We hope that the (Hamas delegation) will reach an agreement without hesitation," Abbas told journalists after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who floated his peace plan on Tuesday. "The situation does not allow us to lose time," Abbas said as Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip entered its third week. Hopes for peace are increasingly focussed on Egypt's mediation efforts since both Israel and Hamas brushed off a UN Security Council resolution on Friday calling for an immediate truce in the fighting. The Egyptian plan seeks to meet Israel's requirement of preventing weapons going to Gaza through Egyptian tunnels and Hamas' demand for a reopening of Gaza's borders to normal traffic. Abbas stressed he wanted an international force in Gaza rather than controlling traffic on the Egyptian side of the border, as suggested by European countries. An Israeli defence official said Egypt's plan foresaw forces loyal to Abbas redeployed on the Gaza side of the border alongside a bolstered Egyptian force. Under a 2005 deal, Egypt's Rafah crossing with Gaza, the only one to bypass Israel, can only be opened to normal traffic if European Union observers and Palestinian Authority forces are at the border. But Hamas ousted forces loyal to Abbas from the Gaza Strip in June 2007 and the EU monitors subsequently left, making it impossible legally to keep the border open. Israel said on Saturday that Egypt had proposed an "upgraded version" of the 2005 deal, which would see a beefed-up frontier force loyal to Abbas alongside a strengthened Egyptian border force. Such a move would require amending the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty limiting Egyptian security forces in the Sinai peninsula, with the Israeli defence official saying the Jewish state "would be in favour" of the proposals. "Israel wants calm an end to weapons smuggling into Gaza, if such a solution would answer these requirements, Israel will be satisfied," he told AFP. Several EU countries and Turkey have offered to send troops to the border as part of an eventual monitoring mission, but Egypt has reportedly rejected the idea of foreign forces on its borders. "The situation does not allow us to lose time," Abbas said, expressing hope that Egypt would manage to "iron out" different parties' reservationsl, which he said were "not substantial." The Hamas delegation, led by Ayman Taha and Jamal Abu Hashem, was to meet Omar Suleiman, Egypt's point man for Israeli-Palestinian affairs, and make "remarks" on the Egyptian plan, the state news agency MENA reported. The Gaza-based Hamas team was to be joined by another team from Hamas's Syria-based political leadership. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after meeting Mubarak that Berlin would send a team to Egypt in the coming days to discuss ways of offering technical help and expertise to control smuggling. The US army already has an engineering team supporting Egyptian tunnel-hunting forces on the border, although they have left since the Israeli offensive began. Egyptian Foreign Minister Abul Gheit, speaking alongside Steinmeier, said efforts to deal with smuggling would have to be matched by a reopening of conventional crossings with the Gaza Strip to allow supplies in. "We see that many of the weapons come by sea and we clarify that the question of smuggling goes back to the blockade enforced by Israel on all the crossings." he said.