I find that about as reassuring as Likud rejecting the notion of a Palestinian state, but it's still a step in the right direction. Here's what he said for those who won't read the article:
"There has been generation after generation (of war). Now there is a generation who needs to live in peace, and not worry about their safety," said Shanab. "So it is a generation that wants to practice living in peace and postpone historical issues. We speak of historical Palestine, and practical reality."
Asked whether "postponing historical issues" means that Hamas has not given up on its goal of eliminating the state of Israel, Shanab replied, "When I speak of postponement, I mean that there is a right for every generation to be satisfied with their condition. Now, when Palestinians and Israelis live among each other in peace, they may cooperate with each other in a way that everyone will be satisfied."
What I take this to mean is that in theory he doesn't think the creation of Israel is fair to Palestinians, but that it's currently in the Palestinians' interest to accept it as a fait accompli
and forge a two-state solution.
Israel too has repeatedly expressed a desire to postpone concessions on their part. But any step either side takes toward a two-state solution is a step in the right direction.
If Palestinians have sovereignty for a generation like he spoke of, I really think it would be a game-changing event that removes even more support for the extremists in Hamas.
Hamas has it's pragmatists too, and as an organization they are more interested in political power than their war with Israel, it's just that they derive so much of their power from that pretext of fighting occupation.
Take that away, and I'll bet they have a lot
fewer recruits to work with. This generation's Palestinians don't derive their anger from the creation of Israel, the forcible transfer of Palestinians or the right of return
. The anger is predominantly based on checkpoints, blockades, targeted assassinations and collateral damage.
There's a reason that Gazans are more supportive of extremists than Palestinians in the West Bank, and it is the difference in their current circumstance, not historical theory.
Palestinians and Israelis will take some time to fully accept each others' states, but for the first time in your lifetime there is enough momentum on each side to make a go of it. Statements like that one I posted are important precedents and illustrate that even Hamas has people who can be reasoned with on some level.