This could be promising (though I’m not starry-eyed, as optimism doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record with respect to this conflict):
Hamas has accepted Israel’s right to exist and would be prepared to nullify its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, Aziz Dwaik, Hamas’s most senior representative in the West Bank, said on Wednesday.
Dwaik’s remarks are seen in the context of Hamas’s attempts to win recognition from the international community.
Dwaik is the elected speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was released a few months ago after spending nearly three years in an Israeli prison.
Dwaik was among dozens of Hamas officials and members who were rounded up by Israel following the abduction of IDF soldier St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit near the Gaza Strip in June 2006.
His latest remarks were made during a meeting he held in Hebron with British millionaire David Martin Abrahams, who maintains close ties with senior Israeli and British government officials.
Abrahams is scheduled to brief British Foreign Secretary David Milliband this weekend on the outcome of his meeting with Dwaik and other top Hamas officials in the West Bank.
Abrahams, a major donor to Britain’s Labor Party, told The Jerusalem Post he would urge Milliband to “consider the implications of Hamas’s positive overtures.”
During the meeting in Hebron, Dwaik stressed that other Hamas leaders, including Damascus-based leader Khaled Mashaal and Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, have voiced support for the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 boundaries.
“The [Hamas] charter was drafted more than 20 years ago,” Dwaik noted, adding that his movement would even be prepared to “nullify” the document.
“No one wants to throw anyone into the sea,” he said.
If sincere, it’s a start.