Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh's statement that Osama bin Laden was an "Arab holy warrior" whose assassination was "a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood" was remarkably stupid--indeed, offensive, not only because there was nothing "holy" about 9/11, but also because the same U.S. government that ordered the assassination of bin Laden also provided the initial leadership for a Western humanitarian intervention in Libya that may have saved tens of thousands of Muslim lives--just as it also saved thousands of Muslim lives in Bosnia and Kosovo.
At the very least, Haniyeh has made it even less likely that Israel or the U.S. will be willing to politically engage Hamas. Nonetheless, what I have written below--on the lost opportunities to negotiate with Hamas--still stands. As I said, Hamas has often made ambiguous or contradictory statements about its willingness to accept a two-state settlement (de facto, if not formally). The crucial point is that the only way to explore Hamas's real intentions and bedrock position is for Israel and the U.S. to engage it in negotiations, which both countries have repeatedly rejected. My own assessment of the situation--unprovable, to be sure--is that if Israel offered a genuine two-state settlement, Hamas would not obstruct it.