Yes the Palestinian Arabs have nationalistic aspirations and I acknowledge that is one important reason for the current Israel/Hamas war. However, as I've been posting here, Hamas primary motivation is religious. Their charter, tapes, books, videos and speeches of their public leaders all profess their radical islamist ideology.
Here is Hamas Charter:
In addition to calling for the destruction of Israel (what else is new?), I think any fair reading of the document would have to say it is immersed in radical islam.
It calls for the establishment of sharia law in Gaza. Hamas is homophobic, misogynistic, anti-semitic, anti-Christian and they supported many odious causes, like the genocide in Darfur. I've started using the acronym AAHMSE to summarize the previoius sentence.
Hamas is the local Gaza chapter of radical islam international. Like the Taliban, Al Queda, Hezbollah, Lashkar-e-Taiba (which carried out the Mumbai attack), Boko Haram, ISIS and so on. Like the leadership in Iran. Radical Islam is at war with the non-muslim world and with moderate muslims. Hamas can't recognize Israel because they believe that no non-Muslim state can exist in formerly Muslim lands.
When I point all this out, posters who disagree say "Hamas doesn't really mean it" or "Hamas will evolve". My contention is that people willing to die as shaheeds (suicide bombers) are not going to change their charter or behavior, simply because we in the west tell them to do so.
Listen to the Son of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef, who left Hamas, being interviewed on CNN.
There is a certain hubris on our part to say we know what motivates Hamas better than they do. To think that somehow through exposure to western values, education and democratic political systems, Hamas and the other Radical Islamic groups will alter their outlook. I wish it were so.