The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon President Bush's doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.Unless the Guardian is misinformed, this will be at the very least, interesting to see. I don't what opening up talks with someone who wants nothing less than the extermination of a key ally will get us. Probably a just pissed-off ally, and that's if we're lucky.
The move to open contacts with Hamas - which could be initiated through the US intelligence services - would represent a definitive break with the Bush presidency's ostracising of the group.
The Guardian has spoken to three people with knowledge of the discussions in the Obama camp.
There is no talk of Obama approving direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on in his administration, but he is being urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of ostracising Hamas is counter-productive.