Khaled Mashal, the head-in-exile of the Hamas political party, said Friday from Damascus, Syria that Hamas will not recognize the state of Israel, but would be willing to discuss the possibility of a long-term truce.
"We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist state that was established on our land," Khaled Meshal told the Palestinian newspaper al-Hayat al-Jadida on Friday, "If [Israel is] willing to accept the principle of a long-term truce then we will be ready to negotiate with you over the conditions of such a truce."
Meanwhile, a poll by the Ma’an News Agency, generally considered to be one of the more accurate indicators of Palestinian opinions (which predicted the unlikely Hamas win in last week’s elections), showed that a majority of poll respondents (66%) believe that Hamas will negotiate with Israel in some fashion.
Whether Israel will be willing to negotiate with a Hamas-led Palestinian government, however, is another question altogether.
Shaul Mofaz, Israel’s defense minister, indicated that Israeli security forces would not withdraw from the West Bank, but would "continue [to pursue alleged members of ‘Islamic Jihad] until it’s completely annihilated."