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In his campaign for a unilateral declaration of statehood in September, which is fast approaching, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has painted himself into a corner. The declaration will not change the reality on the ground. Palestinians know that if Abbas takes unilateral measures against Israel, Israel will respond with tough measures of its own, including economic ones. Palestinians realize that a unilateral declaration of statehood would release Israel from the Oslo Agreements and would also release Israel from cooperating with the Palestinians on numerous issues.

Will the Palestinian Authority try to set the region alight? Palestinian officials are well aware of the Islamic devil waiting in the wings for its opportunity to take over the West Bank, just as it did Gaza. They are not anxious to commit collective suicide through a third intifada that could quickly spiral out of control. Those Palestinians who oppose the declaration do so because they believe the timing couldn’t be worse. This pessimism derives from the current political turmoil in the Arab world, which prevents it from investing time and effort in the Palestinian cause.

(Reuven Berko – Israel Hayom)