Israeli finance minister and chairman of the Yesh Atid Party, Yair Lapid, has stated to the Wall Street Journal that there is a chance for Israel to potentially conduct talks with Hamas if the group “renounces terror” and “recognizes Israel.”
He added that this is not the first time something of this natures has happened, and used the PLO as an example in that “it used to be a terror organization”, but has since renounced the use of violence and recognizes the state of Israel.
In March of 2006, Hamas released its official legislative program, which clearly indicated that Hamas was willing to refer the issue of Israeli recognition to a national referendum. Under the heading “Recognition of Israel”, it stated: “The question of recognizing Israel is not the jurisdiction of one faction, nor the government, but a decision for the Palestinian people.”
The same year, following the Gaza election, the leader of Hamas sent a letter addressed to former US President George W. Bush, in which he declared that Hamas would accept a state on the 1967 borders, including a truce.
The Bush administration failed to reply.
Lapid’s statements reflect a more open position to negotiations than that of other members of the Israeli government’s coalition, like Netanyahu or Naftali Bennett.