Recently, a lot has been said — and a lot of denials have been issued — about Hamas recognizing a two-state solution. It appears that Hamas is still vacillating between explicitly and implicitly recognizing Israel. Hamas realizes that recognizing Israel would open up the world’s doors to the movement. At the same time, Hamas knows that such a move would be seen as a betrayal by the movement’s supporters, both inside and outside Palestine.
As Hamas well knows, its legitimacy derives from its vocal support for armed struggle within the complicated Palestinian reality. Hamas also knows that it will pay a heavy price if it is seen to be agreeing to international conditions. The cost will not only be political, but also ideological.