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Abbas exerting pressure on Israel and the Obama administration

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is exerting pressure on the Obama administration and using reconciliation with Hamas in his attempt to force the Israelis and the US into submitting to his demands and preconditions, Khaled Abu Toameh of the GateStone Institute reported on Tuesday.

Toameh stated that, Adli Sadek, a columnist affiliated with Abbas, articulated that the Palestinians do not have a choice if they want to maintain their national stance and adhere to the goal of independence and freedom.

Toameh said, “This is not the first time that Abbas is playing the Hamas card as a means of exerting pressure on Israel and the U.S.”

“Ever since the Israeli-Palestinian talks resumed seven months ago, Abbas has made a number of attempts to show the Israelis and Americans that he has not abandoned his desire to achieve reconciliation with Hamas,” said Toameh.

“The Palestinian Authority's message to Israel and the US is that you either give us all that we are asking for or we will join forces with Hamas.”

At the same time, the Israelis and Palestinians have asked the Obama administration’s envoy, Martin S. Indyk for a new meeting in on-going negotiations.

Mr. Netanyahu said, “Israel would take its own “unilateral steps” in response to the Palestinians’ move last week to join 15 international treaties and conventions and reiterated that a Palestinian state could be created “only through direct negotiations, not through empty statements and not by unilateral moves.”

However, as Toameh pointed out, Abbas’s threat to join Hamas if their conditions are not met and whether or not the Obama administration will fall for it.

“But for Abbas, the issue of reconciliation with Hamas is yet another legitimate weapon to scare the Israelis and Americans into submitting to his demands and pre-conditions,” said Toameh.”

“It now remains to be seen whether the U.S. Administration will take the bait.”

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