Time to bring Hamas in from the cold

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Yahya Sinwar (C-R), the new leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and senior political leaders of the Islamist movement, Ismail Haniyeh (C-L) and Rawhi Moshtaha (L-2) attend the funeral of Hamas official, Mazen Faqha in Gaza city on March 25, 2017. Gunmen in the Gaza Strip had shot dead the Hamas official on March 24, 2017, according to Iyad al-Bozum, an interior ministry spokesman in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Faqha had been released by Israel six years earlier in the 2011 prisoner swap which exchanged more than 1,000 other Palestinians for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier Hamas had detained for five years. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS

After three years of internal consultations, Hamas’ outgoing Politburo leader, Khaled Meshaal, has now unveiled Hamas’ “Document of General Principles and Policies”, laying out the movement’s policy positions on Israel.

Hamas’s roll-out of the document in English on Twitter was clearly intended to reach international audiences. This marketing campaign reflects the hope among more pragmatic elements within the movement – including Meshaal – that the document can pave the way for engagement with the international community and recognition of Hamas.

Although still far from the political transformation of Hamas that the international community has called for, the unveiling of more pragmatic positions should be cautiously welcomed by the EU and other international actors as a positive step.
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