Hamas’ New Promising Stance on the Peace Process
Something is stirring within the Hamas body politic, a moderating trend that, if nourished and engaged, could transform Palestinian politics and the Arab-Israeli peace process.
There are unmistakable signs that the religiously based radical movement has subtly changed its uncompromising posture on Israel.
Although low-key and restrained, those shifts indicate that the movement is searching for a formula that addresses the concerns of Western powers yet avoids alienating its social base.
Far from impulsive and unexpected, Hamas’ shift reflects a gradual evolution occurring over the past five years.
The big strategic turn occurred in 2005, when Hamas decided to participate in the January 2006 legislative elections and thus tacitly accepted the governing rules of the Palestinian Authority (PA), one of which includes recognition of Israel.
Ever since, top Hamas leaders have repeatedly declared they will accept a resolution of the conflict along the 1967 borders.
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