Many people in the analytical community, the major players in the international and Israeli political scenes are currently — on paper at least — are touting that peace is closer than it has been for years. Shimon Peres stated Aug. 26 his belief that peace could be agreed before the international summit later this year.
UN special advisor for the Middle East Michael Williams, who is set to become Britain's Middle East representative next month, said that Israel hasn't done enough to strengthen the moderate Abbas, which suggests he will follow the same old policy. That is the very policy that I believe still leaves peace a long way off; strengthening Abbas, while isolating and excluding Hamas from negotiations. This leaves the peace process open to being de-railed by the militant group staging a campaign of terror attacks. There is already talk of Hamas leaders in Damascus calling on Hamas militants in the West Bank to launch a massive suicide attack in Israel to torpedo chances of a deal between Israel and Fatah.
There is also the possibility that any agreements will be rejected by the Palestinian people as a whole who doubt Abbas' credibility and voted for a Hamas government for that reason. That of course all assumes Abbas can reach agreement with Israel. If Abbas is going to oppose every attempt Israel makes to compromise then he is not as moderate as everyone seems to think, nor is he likely to be the best person to achieve a Palestinian state through negotiations.
Michael Williams also said the situation is better than it has been for seven years, so as he and many other prominent people are hopeful that peace is closer than it has been for years, I will keep an open mind and see how things pan out. But until the top tier of world powers realize that all Palestinian groups and people must be behind a deal in order to offer Israel any real chance of security; a must for any deal, I just don't hold out much hope.