Hamas is undergoing a massive transformation and is "ready to change," the Palestinian Authority foreign minister said in an interview published in a French newspaper Monday. Ziad Abu Amr, on a three-day visit to France, met Monday with French counterpart Philippe Douste-Blazy and was holding talks Tuesday with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. Speaking to the French daily Le Monde, Abu Amr said he hoped the visit would yield both financial aid and political support for the Palestinian's new coalition government
Abu Amr, an independent, said he thought Hamas was willing to change its ideology in order to remain a political player. "I must admit I'm both surprised and impressed with the speed and the magnitude of Hamas's transformation," he is quoted as saying. He cited Hamas's willingness to accept a future Palestinian state contained within territory Israel occupied in the Six Day War as an example of the movement's ideological shift. "One year ago, the movement would never have accepted a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders," he said. "When things move with such speed in one year, it makes me think the movement is ready to change."
And in the same online issue of the Jerusalem Post is this contrast interview is given by the Israeli OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin:
Iran, Syria and Hizbullah are preparing their defenses for a war in the summer, and they are more worried about an attack by the US than from Israel, OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin told the cabinet on Sunday. Israel was following these moves very carefully, Yadlin said, and needed to be careful its actions were not misinterpreted, leading to a miscalculation by the other side.
Hamas has recently stepped up its terrorist attacks and, according to the IDF, was behind last week's shooting attack along the Gaza security fence in which an Israeli was moderately wounded. Due to the increased arms smuggling from Sinai to the Gaza Strip by Hamas, the IDF has drawn up plans for an broad incursion there.
Somehow, I think the smart money would be to place a bet on Yadlin's intelligence to win.