It is an enormous relief for Alan Johnston and his family and friends that he has been released from the hands of Islamist thugs. Hamas has clearly seen this as an opportunity to gain greater legitimacy in the eyes of the West, and no two ways about it - it is positive. However, it doesn't absolve Hamas of its responsibility to stop waging war against Israel and using terrorism to achieve its political goals. Until THAT happens, it wont and shouldn't be treated as anything less than a pariah.
Hamas still has as its objective:
- The destruction of Israel as a political entity;
- The abolition of the secular Palestinian Authority;
- Replacement of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority with an Islamic Republic of Palestine.