Imagine what would have happened had Israel and US had the good sense to work with the Hamas Unity Government after its formation. Gaza of course would not have been detached from the West Bank without Hamas needing to fear a coup. But there would have been far better positive consequences: 1. Hamas suggested a cease fire in the West Bank (in addition to Gaza). In return, it pledged to impose it on the smaller terror groups. Abbas also made the pledge. Had this been done, Hamas and Fatah for the first time would have shown an ability to suppress terror. This is important for Israeli confidence in a peace deal, which now is non-existent. 2. Hamas was moderating its stand all along (as a result of international pressure), and started talking about the two state solution as their final objective. They agreed to Abbas negotiating with Israel and having a referendum on the deal. With Hamas having finally agreed to the 2-states, there would have been little danger of missiles from the West Bank. This is what is killing the real peace prospects today. In short, by bringing Hamas into the process, there could have been a realistic peace agreement, while now it can be done only in Dreamland. It is not too late. I suggest the Saudis insist on this as a condition for participation in the Bush peace charade. What will help is that the Italian Prime Minister already suggests this, as well as some British MP`s and all Arab countries. If Rice has a brain, she should pressure Olmert to do encourage an Abbas-Hamas reconciliation. But we know that this is beyond her imagination.
U.S. State Dept. 'deeply concerned' about Israel's approval of new settlement construction (Reuters)
from the article: You can learn it in a negotiations course