Israel must talk to Marwan Barghouti, because the reality is that the alternative will be Hamas. True, he is a convicted murderer, but Israel has signed peace treaties with terrorists with blood on their hands in the past.
Haaretz has learned prime minister will not run in the election due to take place next week; though the deputy bureau chief remains the only candidate, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal may still run at the last moment.
On the ground, there has been an increase in unrest among the Palestinian population, encouraged by Hamas, while the authorities turn a blind eye. Yet there has been no deterioration into mass incidents, and no loss of control.
After Hamas 25-year Anniversary Speech Abbas: Meshal Approved an Agreement Recognizing Two-state Solution
Speaking to reporters during his visit to Turkey, Abbas criticizes Meshal saying he won't recognize Israel; Abbas to Livni: Hamas must accept two-state solution principle, reject violence, in any Fatah unity agreement.
Hundreds of thousands of people came out to mark Hamas' anniversary, celebrated 'victory' over Israel in Pillar of Defense and, above all, to see in person the man who has marked his path to the presidency of Palestine some day: Khaled Meshal.
Hamas supporters flash victory signs; huge models of Jerusalem and an M-75 missile are on display; Khaled Meshal is joined onstage by Ismail Haniyeh.
For the first time in the history of the two groups, Fatah leaders will welcome Hamas' political chief, who was considered almost done in internal politics until his critical role in reaching a cease-fire with Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense.
Abbas regained his standing - at least in the Palestinian and Arab media - as a hero and leader without fault. He who dares wins, partly thanks to the Israeli PR campaign that portrayed the move as no less than state terror.
If it hadn't been for the Israeli foreign minister's negative campaign, Abbas may not have received broad coverage in the international media - and a rare Palestinian consensus.
Khaled Meshal, Hamas political bureau chief who lives in exile in Damascus, will arrive in the Strip on December 5, according to Palestinian officials; meanwhile, a Gaza cleric this weekend issued a fatwa forbidding breaking of cease-fire.