It’s probably too soon to know what will happen next, especially because there are enough people on both sides who can mess things up royally, but Hamas seems to be willing to make a deal with Israel. From Haaretz:
GAZA – The Hamas militant group on Monday said it was prepared for dialogue with the Quartet of international mediators to try to end conflict in the Middle East.
“Our people are in need more than any other nation on earth for peace, for security and stability. Our government will not spare any effort to achieve a just peace in the region,” Hamas prime minister
designate Ismail Haniyeh told the Palestinian parliament as he presented his governing agenda.
I was hoping that governing an entire nation/state would push Hamas closer to the mainstream and cause them to be more moderate. At least they have a much more direct link to militants than Fatah. Fatah had to play cat and mouse with militants while also supporting them at times. Hamas can hopefully speak more directly to militants on their side and provide a solution that will be acceptable to the Palestinian people.
I still worry about the Israeli military though. They can roam about the country with impunity and it’s never clear who calls the shots there, especially with Sharon down. Can the Israelis keep their military from sparking additional conflicts while peace negotiations resume?
On a similar note, many forget what kind of general Ariel Sharon was. If there was ever a hawk who fought tenaciously against militants and invading armies, it was Sharon. There are reports about his reckless bloodthirsty approach to battle that often led to conflicts among his fellow commanders.
And now Sharon has been paving the way to peace. It’s amazing sometimes what power and responsibility can do to even the most war-like people. Hopefully the same thing is happening now to Hamas.