In a poll that shows a stark disconnect between Israeli public opinion and the hawkish government elected in the nation earlier this year, a full 57 percent of Israelis were supportive of the idea of peace talks with Hamas.
The poll was worded to gauge reaction to a proposal by top opposition figure and former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who suggested that he would support talks with Hamas if the group recognized Israel.
Hamas’ recognition as with Israeli officials’ willingness to talk with them, seems to differ based on which official is speaking. Hamas officials have suggested the group is willing to recognize Israel within the 1967 borders, but at other times have suggested no recognition at all was possible.
But despite continued talk from the right-far-right coalition government that another war against the Gaza Strip may be in the offing, Israeli Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashkenazi seemed to concede that the casus belli for such a conflict was largely bunk, noting that Hamas has not only curbed its own rocket fire but has undertaken considerable effort to stop other groups from firing rockets from the strip.
Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in December of last year, a month long invasion that left around 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, slain. Hamas remains in control of the strip, however an Israeli blockade has kept all but the most basic levels of humanitarian aid out of the region.
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