Retired IDF major general and a former national security advisor Giora Eiland and Finance Minister Yair Lapid are of the opinion that Israel can enter into negotiations with the Hamas terrorist organization. They announced they believe there may be diplomatic channels that permit a dialogue with Hamas.
Eiland explains that Israel has shown de facto recognition of Hamas’ rule in Gaza, as was seen when state officials negotiated with Gaza towards gaining the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Echoing Eiland’s remarks somewhat, Lapid over the weekend stated that under the right circumstances talks with Hamas may begin, adding “it is not like there have not been talks in the past”. Lapid told the Wall Street Journal that in the past Israel viewed the PLO and Yasser Arafat as terrorists and ultimately entered into talks with him. He feels the situation regarding Hamas is no different.
State officials including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have publically refused to recognize Hamas and have indicated talking with the terrorist organization is a non-starter.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)