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What will Hamas charter change mean for Israel?

Israeli experts disagree on whether expected amendments to Hamas' charter will significantly change the movement’s attitude toward Israel and whether it is wise to open a direct dialogue with the movement.
Yahya Sinwar (L) the new leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and senior political leaders of the Islamist movement Khalil al-Haya (C) Ismail Haniyeh (R) attend the opening of a new mosque in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip on February 24, 2017. / AFP / SAID KHATIB        (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
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In the coming weeks, Hamas is due to unveil the draft of a revised charter that softens the movement's positions on the conflict with Israel. Talking to the London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Hamas sources said that the salient changes to the document include recognition of the 1967 borders and replacement of the term “Jews,” described as enemies, with the term “occupiers.” The draft will probably also include an announcement about severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas' original charter underscores the affinity between the movement and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, known for its rejection of any diplomatic process with Israel. Nonetheless, the new charter, like the original document, will not include recognition of the State of Israel and will rule out any concession on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Should the charter's expected amendment, especially its recognition of the borders delineating Israel until the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, result in a shift in Israeli policies toward the organization? It depends on whom one asks.

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