Thursday, September 20, 2007
Washington's purported peace conference could be bad news for Abbas
By Khaled Amayreh
"The Palestinian Authority (PA) is warning Israel that it will seek reconciliation with Hamas if the upcoming American-sponsored conference in Washington fails to produce a breakthrough towards ending the 40-year-old Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.....
It is also unclear whether threats to boycott the conference and resume the "dialogue" with Hamas are genuine or just an expression of frustration stemming from a growing impression on Abbas's part that Israel is not really serious about reaching a just and durable peace that would enable the Palestinians to get rid of the Israeli military occupation.
"Many people within Abbas's immediate circle believe that if Israel and the US don't deliver, the Palestinian leadership will be absolved from any commitment or undertaking vis-à-vis Hamas," said Al-Masri.
"It is ironic that the failure of the conference will be good news for Palestinian national unity, and vice versa. In other words, the Palestinians would have to choose between a successful conference, whatever that means in real terms, or restoration of at least a semblance of national unity."......"