"Hamas would respect any peace deal reached between Israel and Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, provided it is approved in a global Palestinian referendum, the top Hamas official in Gaza said Wednesday. In a rare news conference for foreign media, Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of Gaza's Hamas government, staked out seemingly pragmatic positions. He said Hamas seeks dialogue with the West and wants to be "part of the solution, not the problem." (2 Dec. 2010)// Hamas had these positions for some years now, expressed already by Meshal. Hamas will even agree to peace, if the Palestinians vote for it. This change in Hamas' implacable initial position resulted from world pressure which caused an evolutionary change so as to make Hamas survivable (see Darwin). It can be assumed however that as long as Hamas is shunned by the world, they will remain rejectionists; after all, what else would be left for them? The key is, and was, within the Palestinian nation itself. Abbas and Hamas have now presented a unified front to the world, despite Israeli threats against it. Unity strengthens the Palestinian position, and Israel gains a more reliable peace partner. But as long as Israel self-defeatingly rejects Hamas, there will be no end to the conflict.
Monitor: Clashes near Damascus despite truce there, five killed in Aleppo (Reuters)