In today's Jerusalem Post, Barry Rubin looks at
the situation of Mahmoud Abbas. His conclusion is similar to one that has been written about previously, namely that for all his nice talk and nice suits, Abbas is simply a nicer looking Arafat. His actions up to now, in relation both to Israel and to the terrorists in his midst, have in no way distinguished him from his predecessor. More importantly, his rule may be very short-lived. In the elections coming up in July Hamas is expected to triumph fairly handily over Fatah and Abbas. What the US's reaction to this would be is unclear. It would be difficult to reconcile negotiating with the PA headed by a group on the US terrorist list with the Bush Doctrine.
At the same time, IDF intelligence is warning that the Palestinians plan to return to the war that they have paused, and with greater ferocity. Throughout this hudna
, all the terror groups have been re-equipping and recruiting. There are even reports that they have managed to smuggle Strella surface-to-air missiles into Gaza. All of this is happening because Abbas refuses to confront and dismantle these terror groups. Until he does that, any negotiations with him will lead nowhere.