Until Obama came along and gave his unconditional support to Abbas and went along with the policy what Abbas wants Obama makes sure Abbas gets as if he is a puppet on a string no palestinian leader made pre conditions for talks based on settlement freezes. Under both Clinton and Bush the settlement program continued at full pace and both Arafat and Abbas talked. Abbas and Olmert held serious talks but he never even offered any kind of freeze and Abbas went along with it. The only reason things are different now is because Obama believes his job is to rubber stamp Abbas demands rather than say no condition here we talk. He would have never have dreamed of making pre conditions with Clinton & Bush because he knew who was in charge whist Obama has shown no leadership or independence he just does as Abbas tells him to do. Bibi has a coalition to think about and he is leader of a right wing party and right wing coalition. He cannot just agree to a settlement freeze just because Abbas & Obama want it. BIbi has demanded the US put their promises into writing and we are waiting for them to do that but it seems that they are now changing their minds on promises made - the planes are not going to be free, Obama will not promise he won't ask for another freeze in 3 months and he will demand this freeze includes Jerusalem. All of this is a total reversal of the promises he made before we asked him to put it in writing. Until Bibi gets these promises in writing then he will not put it before the cabinet because he knows they will reject it. The more logical thing to do is wait until he has this letter and then go to the cabinet. Just because Abbas hasn't got his freeze doesn't mean Bibi is handling it all wrong or that Bibi is the bad guy. Fact is so far Bibi is the only one who has made any gestures all Abbas has done is make pre conditions to talk and if Israel doesn't deliver he refuses to talk despite the fact its him who wants a state not Israel. Bibi is the one who offered a 10 month goodwill freeze to encourage Abbas to talk and for 9 of those months Abbas refused to talk instead he just demanded Bibi make more concessions before he agrees to talk and its only in that final month of the freeze he was dragged to talks kicking and screaming. He had 10 months to talk if he wanted during the freeze but he wasn't interested but now the freeze is over he is refusing to talk unless there is a new freeze he is the obstacle here not Bibi.
Palestinians report IDF airstrikes on Islamic Jihad targets in southern Gaza Strip (Haaretz)