So long as they could weather the initial storm, the medium and long-term effects for the PA were huge. Coming right at the beginning of the campaign in the UN, it took away from Israel and the US the argument they wanted to use about negotiations, not the UNSC, being the place to discuss settlements. After seeing for themselves how stacked the negotiations are, not a single country supported that argument. It disentangled the PA from negotiations that had gone as far as they can, and freed them to switch instead their efforts to the UN without the PA being blamed for it (it wasn't us, but a disgruntled employee!). It answered the claim that it is the Palestinians who are rejectionist - and did it incontravertibly. It's not a question of one side says this, the other says that, you can just let the papers speak for themselves. At home, it opened up a long overdue discourse about what a 2 state solution is going to really cost. Arafat always avoided that issue in favor of retaining popularity, but if the current leadership are really aiming for independence this fall, they have to open that can of worms right now and get it all out in the open. It's no good having the UN recognize Palestine in Sept, then having Palestinians riot because no-one mentioned they weren't going to get the right of return. It had the potential to backfire badly on them, but when you're in a very one-sided game, sometimes all your options involve kicking the board in the air. As it turned out, even with the most negative spin possible, which is certainly what al-J put on it, what did it really cost the PA? They disbanded a negotiations unit which they've already said on numerous occasions has gone as far as it can in bilateral negotiations. Meh.
Report: U.S.-led strikes in Iraq, Syria killed 459 civilians (AP)
from the article: Abbas, step by step