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Israeli intelligence chief pessimistic about peace efforts

The chief of Israel’s secret service (Shabak), Yoram Cohen, has expressed his pessimism about the latest US moves aimed at reviving Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, Israeli radio reported on Tuesday.

Cohen was reported to have been speaking with a member of the Knesset’s Foreign and Security Committee whom he told that he is skeptical about the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts in the region.


Doubting the seriousness of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas belief in peace, Cohen said: “Abbas does not believe reconciliation has a real chance. He feels that his negotiations with the current Israeli government would not be useful for him.”

On the reason why Abbas does not feel good about Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, Cohen said: “The government of the previous Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, gave Abbas more offers that Netanyahu.”

Cohen said: “Abbas’ current position is stable, but it could be shaken if the reconciliation with Hamas was achieved and Palestinian elections were conducted.”

The US administration has been leading marathon efforts to revive the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The peace process has been stalled since October 2010 over disputes about Israeli settlements and judaising Jerusalem.

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