Busy week of Mideast diplomacy, with launch of Israel-Hamas talks

Published 9:48 am Monday, September 22, 2014

RAMALLAH, West Bank — It’s a busy week in Mideast diplomacy, book-ended by the launch of Israel-Hamas talks about a border deal for blockaded Gaza and the Palestinian president’s U.N. speech about a new strategy for dealing with Israel.

The talks about Gaza’s future seem to be a long shot, and failure could set the stage for another Israel-Hamas war, even if neither side wants it. In another obstacle to an agreement, tensions are mounting between Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah, the movement of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, over who will run Gaza.

Meanwhile, Abbas’ apparent shift to inviting international pressure on Israel, rather than relying solely on so far unsuccessful U.S. mediation, is poised to strain ties with Washington.

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