The Obama administration is preparing to settle scores with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, for his campaign against US-led nuclear diplomacy with Iran, by holding him to blame for the impasse in Israel-Palestinian negotiations. This will ignore the uniform assessments by US and Israeli intelligence analysts that it is the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas who is holding out against all Secretary of State John Kerry’s Herculean efforts for a peace accord with Israel, say debkafile’s Washington and Jerusalem sources.
Abbas (Abu Mazen) is sure that he can get more from the international community by diplomatic manipulation and effective propaganda. He believes he holds enough cards and leverage to manage without having to reach terms for deals with the US or Israel.
He is only playing along with the Americans and Israelis for one purpose – not to lose US and other Western financial assistance. Earlier this month, the European Union said it would discontinue the $1 billion annual contribution to the Palestinian Authority if a peace accord with Israel was not signed within a year. Abbas appreciates that the Europeans would follow the American lead for an aid cutoff.
The US-EU aid packages totaling $1.5 billion account for nearly all of the PA’s regular revenue. The most up-to-date intelligence data reaching Washington and Jerusalem confirm that if Abbas were to find an alternative source of income, he would grab it and drop out of the peace negotiations like a shot.
But the Obama administration and Netanyahu government alike are ignoring these assessments and pressing on with the talks, mindful of the end-of-April deadline set for reaching the finishing line. …read more
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