"without Hamas, there isn't going to be any diplomatic agreement here." - D. Rubinstein This statement is evidently correct, and for a simple reason: Hamas is also popular in the West Bank. If any deal is struck with Abbas against Hamas wishes, it will not be possible to bring it to a referendum because Hamas controls Gaza, and in any case will call on its supporters to boycott the referendum so that it lacks legitimacy. So far, Israel has adopted the policy (in the garb of a supposed 'principle') that once Hamas is in the government, the entire government needs to be boycotted and there can be no peace talks. The fakedness of this 'principle' is seen when one realizes that the peace talks are supposed to be held with Abbas only (although with Hamas' blessing). One also sees that the rest of the world was talking with non-Hamas members of the unity government. To climb down from the fake tree is not difficult. One only needs a fake ladder. Abbas should be encouraged to talk with Hamas and to set up a government of experts with them (which Hamas actually suggested). Nobody needs to boycott the non-partisan experts. And negotiations can proceed with Abbas, with Hamas' blessing, and with a guaranteed referendum at the end.
Law expanding definition of terrorist activity passes first Knesset reading (Haaretz)
from the article: Spoiling for a fight