You said: "If their repeated public pronouncements on refusal of peace under any circumstances, is their position,why bother to negotiate with them?" Coz that isn't their position, PETER. Their position is that HAMAS will not negotiate with Israel, but Abbas can. In fact, the Mecca agreement that led to the Unity Government means Hamas *has* stated that it *will* recognize any agreement that Abbas makes. This is because that agreement also says Hamas will come under the umbrella of the PLO, and Abbas negotiates both as the President of the PA and the head of the PLO. Any agreement will go to the PLO to be ratified, which will be binding on Hamas. It satisfies Hamas' consituency (it *is* a political party, after all) and it should satisfy anyone interested in peace talks. So, is Israel interested, or not?
Magnitude 4.2 quake strikes near Grand Coulee Dam in Washington (Reuters)
from the article: Israel to snub foreign envoys who meet with Hamas ministers