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Palestinian President's position is strong but may be "weakened" by reconciliation with Hamas

The director of Israel's General Security Service (Shin Bet) has told a key US committee that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's position is "strong and stable" but may be weakened by reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.

Yoram Cohen told the Senate Foreign Affairs and Security Committee in Washington that new Palestinian Authority and presidential elections in Palestine may also change the situation in Ramallah.


Expressing his own pessimism about the latest US initiative led by Secretary of State John Kerry to kick-start Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Cohen pointed out that Abbas himself does not believe that there is a genuine opportunity for peace.

The Palestinian president, noted Cohen, feels that negotiations with the Netanyahu government will not result in any benefits to him as they promise much less than what was on offer from former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

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