During the first four months of this year, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas took center stage thanks to his decision to hold new elections.Abbas remained in the spotlight even after his controversial decision in late April to postpone them, under the pretext that Israel had failed to respond to the Palestinians’ request to allow voting to take place in Jerusalem.In the past few weeks, however, Abbas has lost the attention of the Palestinians and many in the international community, who no longer see him as a relevant player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By blaming Israel for “obstructing” the Palestinian elections, Abbas undoubtedly contributed to the eruption of the clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli police in Jerusalem at the beginning of Ramadan.But the protests on Jerusalem’s streets and at al-Aqsa Mosque compound were hijacked from day one by Hamas and anti-Abbas activists. The protesters have since directed their anger not only toward Israel, but against Abbas too.Worse, the protests have turned into pro-Hamas rallies, with many Palestinians chanting slogans in support of the Gaza-based terrorist group and its leaders.On Thursday, tens of thousands of worshipers who came to al-Aqsa for prayers marking the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr were met with large flags and posters of Hamas leaders. Earlier, Palestinian protesters on the streets of Jerusalem and at the holy site denounced Abbas as a US “agent” and an Israeli “collaborator.”The fighting that erupted between Israel and Hamas earlier this week has further undermined Abbas’s standing among the Palestinians, as his rivals in Hamas have become the cynosure of all eyes.Abbas is once again being depicted by many Palestinians as an incompetent and weak leader, while Hamas leaders are being praised as heroes for carrying out their threat to fire rockets at Israel “in defense of the Palestinians in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque.”In the past few days, Abbas has talked to a number of world leaders, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and French President Emmanuel Macron, about the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Abbas has also chaired a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah to discuss ways of ending the Israeli “aggression” against the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Additionally, he has instructed Palestinian representatives around the world to step up their diplomatic efforts to exert pressure on Israel to stop its military strikes in the Gaza Strip.But that is all Abbas can do under the current circumstances, and that is why it is not clear why any world leader would waste their time discussing with Abbas ways of ending the Israel-Hamas conflict.Abbas has no leverage with Hamas or any of the Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip. He has not set foot in the Gaza Strip since 2007, when Hamas violently seized the coastal enclave after toppling his PA regime and killing dozens of his men. His decision to delay the elections has strained his relations with Hamas and other Palestinian factions.Moreover, Abbas and the PA are not directly involved in the Egyptian, Qatari and UN efforts to end the fighting. Instead, Hamas leaders in Qatar and Lebanon are said to be in contact with Arab and Western mediators on the possibility of reaching another truce agreement with Israel. Aware of Hamas’s growing popularity among the Palestinians, Abbas does not even dare call on the terrorist group to stop firing rockets at Israel. In the past, Abbas used to mock Hamas’s homemade rockets, dubbing them “futile” and “harmful” to the Palestinians, especially those living in the Gaza Strip.He is now directing his criticism only toward Israel with the hope of scoring points in the Palestinian street. But this attempt to win the hearts and minds of the Palestinians has so far proven unsuccessful.The Palestinians are angry with Abbas because of his decision to call off the elections and his failure to assist the Palestinians in Jerusalem and in the Gaza Strip. They are also upset with him because of the continued security coordination in the West Bank between the Palestinian security forces and Israel.The conflict between Israel and Hamas may have diverted attention from Abbas’s decision to postpone the elections, but it has also shown that he is no longer a relevant player in the Palestinian arena, particularly with regard to what happens in Gaza.All Abbas can do now is hope that the violence does not spread to the PA-controlled areas of the West Bank. His biggest fear is that Hamas and other Palestinian factions will use the violence to undermine his rule and remove him from power. This is why he has instructed Palestinian security forces to do their utmost to prevent pro-Hamas demonstrations from taking place in the West Bank.Hamas may suffer severe military blows in the current fighting with Israel, but there is no underestimating the political achievements it has already gained among Palestinians and other Arabs by showering Israel with hundreds of rockets.When the current round of fighting ends, Hamas will emerge as the biggest winner and “defender” of the Palestinians and all Arabs and Muslims. Abbas, on the other hand, will again appear as the biggest loser, a “traitor” and a “failed” leader.