In the scheme of geopolitics, interests are far more important than ideals. A dramatic reorientation of how the Palestinians view their interests will be needed if progress is to be achieved in the quest for peace. More than likely, such a dramatic redefinition of interests won't be possible until Hamas is dismantled or destroyed. A "West Bank first" approach could act as a catalyst, if Gaza's residents can view progress in the West Bank and the contrast between the West Bank's progress and Gaza's lack of progress as reason to topple the Hamas terrorist regime.
Israel tried the idealistic path on several occasions. It unilaterally released Palestinian prisoners. It completely disengaged from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. The Gaza disengagement was far more than the mere expression of symbolism or atmospherics to which the handshakes would amount. It gave the Palestinians tangible gains in land. It gave the Palestinians opportunity to begin building a viable society in the Gaza Strip. Those good faith gestures did not yield the desired diplomatic breakthroughs. Instead, the Palestinians pocketed those gains, Palestinian negotiating positions remained rigid, and Hamas continued to pursue its objective of Israel's destruction.