Cabinet decision could weaken Abbas

Sunday, May 08, 2005 | 
Israel’s suspension of prisoner releases comes at a bad time for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, whose ruling Fatah movement is facing a growing challenge from the Islamic terrorist group Hamas. Hamas, which seeks the destruction of Israel and is responsible for hundreds of suicide bombings and shooting attacks, made significant gains in Palestinian municipal elections last week. Abbas has told Israel that he needs the release of prisoners to win the support of the Palestinian street and show his people the tangible benefits of peace. But Sharon told the Cabinet: "We won't strengthen Abbas at the expense of Israel lives."

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