In an interview with Sky News broadcast Monday, Mashaal said the offer was identical to one made to Israel 10 years ago. "We renew our offer to Israel to let the civilians on both sides not be a part of this conflict," he said. "We renew this offer today." Mashaal asserted that if the IDF refrained from killing any Palestinian civilians, Hamas would only carry out attacks against Israeli military targets. Mashaal went on to confirm that captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit was alive.
This is interesting because it appears to suggest that Hamas is not immune to the pressure they have been receiving in different quarters for their policy of targetting Israeli civilians. Now, if one were to believe Mashaal, (and that is by no means a given) 10 years ago puts the alleged original offer in 1998 so I can’t see it making much of an impression at that time. It does open up some potentially new avenues to pursue in regards to Hamas. Although, I cannot see Hamas following up any better than their offer of a truce in November 2006 for the complete cessation of kassam fire. That truce lasted lasted less than 48 hours.