Why Have Palestinian Leaders Rejected All Offers of Peace?

In taking his case to the UN, Mahmoud Abbas is hoping to force an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. But what could Abbas possibly expect to achieve that Israel had not already offered him (or Arafat) in 2000, 2001, and 2008? Jeff Robbins suggests an answer:

The answer . . . and the reasonable inference to be drawn from the history of Palestinian rejectionism is not a particularly happy one. It is that Israel’s proposals for an independent Palestinian state have come with a condition that the Palestinian leadership has regarded as a deal-breaker: a permanent end of the conflict, and a commitment to accept Israel’s existence. By contrast, the Security Council end-game sought by the Palestinians is an end-run around any such condition; it would impose on the Palestinians no obligation to end the dispute.

This is not by chance. As Abbas knows, the Palestinian street opposes any end of conflict with Israel that fails to bring about its disappearance. Even before the summer’s war between Israel and Hamas, a public-opinion poll showed that fewer than 30 percent of Palestinians supported a two-state solution—a West Bank/Gaza state living in lasting peace with Israel. Almost two-thirds told pollsters that “resistance should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated.” And this past September, 80 percent of Palestinians polled said that Hamas should continue to fire rockets at Israel, with Hamas, recognized by the United States as a terrorist enterprise, receiving an 88-percent approval rating, compared with only 36 percent approving the considerably more moderate Palestinian Authority government led by Abbas.

Read more at Boston Globe

More about: Bill Clinton, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian statehood, Peace Process, United Nations, Yasir Arafat

 

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security