DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Hamas acknowledges the existence of Israel as a reality but formal recognition will only be considered when a Palestinian state has been created, the movement's exiled leader Khaled Meshaal said on Wednesday.This should not be that much of a surprise since Hamas has been saying very similar stuff since it was elected, if not before -- see this post at the Skeptic and the excellent paper he links to. Nice to see this coming from Khaled Meshaal, though.
Softening a previous refusal to accept the Jewish state's existence, Meshaal said Israel was a "matter of fact" and a reality that will persist.
"There will remain a state called Israel," Meshaal said in an interview in the Syrian capital, in what appeared to be clearest statement yet by the Islamist group on its attitude toward the state it previously said had no right to exist.
"The problem is not that there is an entity called Israel," said Meshaal, who survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997. "The problem is that the Palestinian state is non-existent."