Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' failure to reach any diplomatic achievements in the peace process with Israel is weakening the moderates in the West Bank, a PA security official told Israel Radio on Friday.
In the past, the peace process provided legitimacy to the PA, but the stagnation in talks causes mounting frustration in the West Bank that Hamas is taking advantage of to try and rebuild its infrastructure there, the PA official said.
Hamas' success in regaining power in the West Bank is dependent on the security and diplomatic situations, he added.
Israel Radio also cited a second Palestinian security source as saying that PA security forces have thwarted more than 10 terrorist attacks against Israel since the beginning of the year. US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to return
to the region sometime next week in his continued attempt to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Israeli officials said Thursday.
US sources said that even inside the State Department there is little confidence that Kerry’s efforts will bear fruits.
According to these sources, US President Barack Obama – who, beyond giving Kerry public backing, has kept a low profile during the secretary of state’s efforts to prod the sides back to the table – has given Kerry the green light to try to move the sides together, but does not want to get too personally involved to avoid a diplomatic failure.
The sources said the feeling in the White House was that in this way if Kerry succeeded, Obama would obviously enjoy much of the credit, but if he failed, then Obama could distance himself from the failure that would be dropped at Kerry’s doorstep.
Two weeks ago, Kerry spent a frenetic 72 hours shuttling between Amman, Jerusalem and Ramallah
– including more than 20 hours of talks in six separate meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Abbas – trying to bridge gaps between them and restart the talks. Herb Keinon contributed to this report.