Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas insists that current US-driven peace talks with Israel have not reached an impasse, as claimed by many media outlets, while at the same time the Hamas terror organization with which Abbas seeks reconciliation is calling for war against the Jews.
"The negotiations are difficult, but they haven’t reached a dead end. They are still in the initial stage and we have enough time to further deal with the main issues that turn out to be difficult," Abbas told Germany's Deutsche Welle television.
The same Abbas who now seems ready to take things slow was less than a year ago hollering, along with other Arab leaders and Western officials, that time was running out for a peace deal.
Many Israelis look at the current low-level talks that don't seem to be going anywhere and are coming to believe the Abbas regime is exploiting the situation to extract more Israeli concessions before ultimately leaving the negotiating table. That has long been the practice of the Palestinian leadership.
Meanwhile in Gaza, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is playing no such games, and on Saturday called for a new intifada, or terrorist uprising against Israel.
A Hamas website later claimed credit for a "terror tunnel" recently discovered by Israel. The tunnel ran a length of over two miles under the Gaza border, exiting near a small Jewish village in southern Israel. It was filled with explosives and other weapons.
Hamas was voted into power by a majority of Palestinians in the 2006 legislative election, and Abbas has repeatedly sought reconciliation with the group after it violently seized control of Gaza a year later.